The Dictator – 3.5/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Dictator – 3.5/5 – Sacha Baron Cohen; he is man known for his outrageous characters and raw, offensive comedies.  The one thing that he does provide in his comedies is a distinct value to the genre.  His kind of humor isn’t for anyone, and has turned some heads, but for the most part, it can be some of the funniest things you’ll see and laugh at.  When it comes to this new character, Aladeen, he creates something that is unlike any of his other characters.  His previous films (Bruno and Borat) were filmed live, and this one was filmed like an actual movie.  In doing the film this way, it gives you another spin to his character, but also defines another kind of relevance for the plot.  Overall, The Dictator is a funny, but very offensive movie, and you will have to figure out yourself if you’re willing to see the satire and enjoy the comedy within.

The Premise is as followed:

The Republic of Wadiya is controlled by a peculiar, oppressive leader named Hafez Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen). Aladeen is summoned by the UN assembly to New York to address concerns about his country’s nuclear weapons program. While in New York, what turns into a glory trip goes awry.

When it comes to the acting, the emphasis is on the dictator Aladeen, who is played by Sacha Baron Cohen.  He creates a man with an off the wall, eccentric kind of personality.  This helps bring across a bumbling, but funny character, someone that is typical, but different for the most part.  Along with his acting, his delivery of the absurd and slightly offensive lines is very precise and can catch you off guard, making you laugh hard as if you were watching his best works from his previous films.  He always keeps you guessing with his lines, but will make you laugh constantly from beginning to end.  With most of the characterization left to be brought to the dictator, all the other characters become either common plot devices or people who are properly placed to emphasize the humor of the Dictator.  You have Ben Kingsley, as his second hand man, and also Anna Faris, as the organic shopkeeper, in the film, but they don’t really stand out or hit a high with the comedy.  Here, you have what you usually have in these films, one-dimensional characters.  If you try not to see the lack of depth in these two and the other side characters, you’ll enjoy what kind of character Cohen creates in Aladeen.

The direction is a pretty straight forward tale.  You have a guy that is fallen from grace, who must learn something about himself, and become a renewed man.  The film follows this same track, but with slight differences.  The movie does this same kind of story, but adds in the dark humor and offensive lines that are staples of Sacha Baron Cohen’s type of comedies.  Unlike most comedies that imply these element, this film (like Borat) is less of a mockery and more of a satirical view of the reality and what everyday Americans live with, as portrayed by the media.  Cohen always has a good nack of bring out deep views in a satrical fashion, and the direction gives a good blend of this realism along with an outrageous and mostly funny time.   Where the film derails (unlike Borat), is that the film has many quick hits of scene after scene where the film will try too hard to present something funny to the audience along with the actually funny parts.  This creates many highs and lows in the film.  By the end, you feel entertained, regardless of the obvious elements that you figure out halfway through til the end.

The visuals are subtle, but everything is brought to show the shocking elements of this premise.  Everything you see is typical of everyday elements, and in the end it doesn’t really have any effect on the film.  The soundtrack to the film is another hilarious part.  They take a lot of modern tracks and provide an unique twist to them, which molds the comedy along with the sardonic elements of the film.

Overall, if you’re a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen, you’ll enjoy this film.  You have his typical comedy that is dark, satirical and slightly offensive.  With its strength in the lines and delivery of the comedy, you do have times when the humor comes off stale, things become predictable and you loose interest for long times in the film.  I’d recommend for a rental, any only for people of that aren’t easily offended.

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