Sacha Baron Cohen knows like no other how to generate buzz for his coming movies. For his previous roles, he appeared on numerous television programs as Borat, now even an icon, and as Bruno, the eccentric designer. He does it again, this time for The Dictator. Impersonating his fictional created character Aladeen, he showed up at the Oscars and Saturday Night Live surrounded by some of his female bodyguards. It makes you wonder whether The Dictator does not include those unoriginal, already-told type of jokes and humor. I make it simple for you: it’s a reflection of reality with the slightest human originality touch.
The Dictator‘s plot does not matter very much. It’s terrible, but it’s comedy so we forgive them this time. The only thing that matters is how Aladeen, the dictator, has been portrayed. After having decided to visit the United Nations HQ in New York, not so much averted from Lybia’s situation with Kadafi and the international community, Aladeen gets twisted in a plot for power. The hit to kill him fails. Instead he finds himself in an environmental friendly shop. From there on he tries to intervene with his ‘gang’ at the UN.
Obviously, Sacha Baron Cohen is the star of every scene. Normally he delivered his jokes on a surprise basis and he succeeded – that’s logical. But he even is convincing with his jokes when he delivers them in a scripted movie like The Dictator. Almost every scene guarantees a good joke, and there are even various layers of jokes – a new technique for movies only.
Of course there was some nuditity, that’s common entertainment for the audience which is mainly adolescent. The scenes like the pregnant woman and the one dirty nudity scene could have been left out, but that would give no true Cohen styled satisfaction, would it?
The movie needs time to really get going. In New York though it has reached its full potential. Accompanied by Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in Arabic style, Aladeen marches confidently through. Scenes after that rapidly use the 3-step structure of setting the tone, placing the subject and removing of the object to make successful fun scenes which give everyone a good laugh.
What I liked about The Dictator beside its jokes were the clear winks to reality – we saw Megan Fox star as herself, we got the same situation around Iran, oil interests and most importantly the international power relations.
It’s unfortunate that Cohen couldn’t do any of his reality stunts in this scripted movie, but hey, instead he gave us master punchlines and jokes to keep you laughing continuously. While most comedies offer you their fun only in the trailers, The Dictator manages to be more than that: an original piece which reflects reality and plays with it like it’s a child’s toy. The Dictator should not be skipped.