The Dictator

The Dictator

Director: Larry Charles

This is Cohen’s third appearance as the lead in a film after the hit Borat and the less successful Bruno. The movie is closer in style to Borat than Bruno, although unlike Borat the movie is fully scripted.

The movie follows North African dictator Admiral General Aladeen, ruler of the state of Wadiya. Aladeen has been in power since he was 7 years old. He hates the West and Jews, and hands out executions like candy. Aladeen travels to the US to explain the United Nations that rather than developing nuclear weapons, he is using Wadiya’s nuclear programme to provide household electricity. He gets kidnapped and his beard is shaved off, making him unrecognisable to his own people. Meanwhile, his uncle Tamir attempts to use Aladeen’s body double to sign a democracy agreement that would open up the Wadiyan oil market to international investors. As Aladeen tries to get back to his hotel to prevent the democratisation of his country, the rudest laugh-out-loud jokes begin.

Cohen combines his satirical observations with gross comedy and leaves no group untouched. His targets include homosexuals, feminists, Bin Laden, Hollywood stars and most ethnicities. Don’t get me wrong, some jokes did fall short but overall the movie was genuinely hilarious. If you don’t like toilet humour or didn’t enjoy Borat then you probably won’t enjoy this film. On the other hand, if Baron Cohen’s style of comedy is your cup of tea then I highly recommend The Dictator.

This article first appeared in Issue 13, 2012.
Posted 7:40pm Sunday 27th May 2012 by Critic.