Dir. Larry Charles
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Aladeen my friends – welcome to the nation state of Wadiya, I am you benevolent Dictator Admiral General Aladeen, and it is I who keep everything Aladeen in this great place.
The Dictator (Sacha Baron Cohen) breaks from the mockumentary style of the hilariously provocative Borat and the amusingly offensive Brüno – and delivers a slick fish out of water romantic comedy that hits with a powerful political subtext.
Starting in the fictitious North African country Wadiya where General Aladeen rules with an infantile mind and an iron fist. He is Indulged with his every wish – including sexual liaisons with nearly every high profile female (and some males) on the planet. But even obscene affluence can’t prevent him having to travel to the USA in order to appease the United Nations who are sniffing around his rogue nuclear weapons programme.
"off with his head!"
In the land of the free the General falls from power after being left for dead and usurped by a dim body double backed by a traitorous Official Tamir (Ben Kingsley). Then to make matters worse he meets his love match in an eco-warrior feminist named Zoey (Anna Faris), who owns an over the top green shop staffed by comically stereosocial misfits and oppressed foreigners.
How will the idiot Dictator survive? Can he possibly get his position back and prevent the plans for Wadiya to be made into a free democracy? The new proposed political constitution for the country though is simply a front for oil sales - hhhmm, that’s a bit far fetched right? Surely no countries are being manipulated by force or politics to part with their natural resources…
Baron Cohen brings a ton of weapons grade cultural critique comedy, including unforgettable scene such as the mother of all misunderstandings during a helicopter tour where a white American couple think Aladeen is planning his own 911 attack.
"promo shot for the film - tough gig"
The Dictator is as wildly un-politically correct as we’ve come to expect from Cohen and completely sexist too (e.g. Zoey is mercilessly referred to as a hairy little hobbit boy due to her unshaved armpits and lack of boobs). There are also many unnecessary gross out moments too but overall despite the odd misstep the quality laughs come thick and fast enough – and pack enough political barb – to make this a worthy addition to Cohen’s cannon of films and the new benchmark for comedies in 2012.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
öööö - Totally Aladeen, if you don't Aladeen this film you are Aladeen!!
4 – dissenting opinions and voices on this film will be hushed up!
Awesomeness öööö – unforgettable comedy scenes
Laughs öööö – an unauthorised non government sanctioned laugh riot
Horror ööö – decapitated head played for laughs!? yep!
Babes ööö – bieng Aladeen has its benefits!
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – Aladeen wills it...
"Anna Faris - looking for a good time!?"