Published on May 14th, 2012 | by dvdpinson0
All Hail The Dictator
His Excellency Admiral General Aladeen, the incredibly bearded dictator in the aptly titled comedy “The Dictator”, is Sacha Baron Cohen’s most offensive character to date. That’s a gigantic accomplishment considering that Cohen is the mastermind behind both“Borat” and “Bruno,” two of the most provoking freaks to piss people off at the multiplexes in recent years. The difference with those films is that Cohen was presenting extreme versions of minority groups (foreigners, homosexuals) and allowing us to laugh at people’s reaction too them. There is nothing inherently wrong with Borat or Bruno, in fact the films defended them. They were just mistaken for heathens by narrow-visioned idiots.
But Aladeen is a true villain. He is a vile murderer and a sexist pig that rules his fake country of Wadiya with an Iron Clad Pointing Finger. So when the film first starts it is hard to figure out exactly where Cohen is heading with this. Is he really defending dictators such as Gaddafi and Kim Jong-il? The answer, eventually, is no. “The Dictator” ultimately proves that any subject can be mined for comedy gold and that laughing at the horror of the real world is cathartic. It seems all you need a plethora of penis jokes.
Speaking of penis jokes: “The Dictator” is not about a man with a potato for a penis. (Cymbals crash) Thank you. I’ll be here all week.
Wadiya is a magnificently oppressed country located in North Africa. (Good idea not placing the barren country in the Middle East). Aladeen has been gleefully ruling the country since he was an ugly little bearded child and lives in pure opulence while the rest of his country is destitute. The Superior One is also secretly building a nuclear weapon with the proper pointy tip.
While visiting the United States to address United Nations regarding the effective elements of a true dictatorship, His Excellency is abducted, shaved down and replaced with a look alike who has an inappropriate attraction to goats. Beardless and alone, Aladeen must regain control of his country before Wadiya is forced to become a dreaded democracy.
“The Dictator” again teams Cohen with director Larry Charles. Charles abandons the faux documentary style the two used for “Borat” and “Bruno” and has made their first true narrative film. The move was the right one as “Bruno” already felt stale and to try and recapture the sense of originality that “Borat” delivered was pointless.
Cohen surrounds himself with a supporting cast that helps lighten the mood. Anna Faris sports a terrible wig and plays a vegan love interest to Aladeen. Sir Ben Kingsley delivers an air of legitimacy while John C. Reilly shows up for an all too short cameo as a racist American Secret Service guard. The best of the bunch, however, is Jason Mantzoukas who plays Aladeen’s exiled nuclear physicist Maroush. Akdtar can keep up with Cohen and the improvised runs the two dole out are the lifeblood of the film.
Beneath the amazingly crude humor lies intelligence. That is what sets Cohen’s work apart. Here, Cohen finishes things off with a biting monologue that address the State of the Union here in America. While “The Dictator” may seem offensive for offensive’s sake, Cohen sneaks a message in between the fart and rape jokes. That is what makes Sacha Baron Cohen one of comedy’s sick geniuses.