The Short Version? Borat by way of Saddam.
What Is It? Comedy
Who Is In It? Ali G, the "Scary Movie" chick
Should I See It? Yeah, sure, why not?
This is not the kind of film that inspires a long winded review, unlike Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Brüno. Sacha Baron Cohen's previous films were about ambushing unsuspecting people and confronting them with their own secret biases/hatreds in pursuit of daring, insightful comedy. Those were dishonest charades that sought out honest discourse. The Dictator is an above average crude comedy that goes for cheap laughs through shock, some ham-fisted political satire, and chauvinism of all types. Whereas the previous films could be forgiven for tacking on a loose, formulaic narrative to string together isolated pranks, this entirely scripted affair is terribly predictable and uninspired while linking the numerous good but plentiful bad gags. Baron Cohen is an outstanding improvisational character actor bouncing off people, but as a writer in full control of every outcome, there's not that much to distinguish him from the dregs of Happy Madison or Farrelly Brothers productions. Admiral General Aladeen is not an endearing innocent making fucked-up mistakes, but a heinous asshole who milks humor out of cruelty, ignorance, and stereotypes. The anglo actors here are mostly embarrassing (Anna Farris FTL,) but the "ethnic" one are solid. The flick is much better than the trailers would indicate (which include 60% of John C. Reilly's total screen time,) but I doubt you'll be plagued by co-workers quoting it endlessly. However, Cohen's cock makes its third straight appearance in a Larry Charles joint, if that does anything for you.
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