The Dictator

The Dictator is a departure from Baron Cohen`s mockumentaries – such as Borat and Bruno – opting for an unscripted comedy that`s no less provocative and politically incorrect. Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen) takes time of his busy schedule of summary execution and celebrity banging to appear at a United Nations conference in America. There, he is the victim of a political coup by his scheming uncle (Ben Kingsley), which leaves him stranded, beardless and unrecognizable, with his only hope of regaining power in the hands of a lefty feminist proprietor of a grocery store (Anna Faris).

Most movies are eager to please. Baron Cohen`s comedies are eager to offend. Like Borat and Ali G, Adm Gen. Aladeen provides Baron Cohen with the mouthpiece to take digs at society at large, whether it`s homosexuals, racial minorities, oppressive despots (like Dick Cheney), the police or just white Americans. The movie itself is slightly scattershot in execution, but there`re more than enough laughs for those of us who dig Cohen`s irreverent, almost mean-spirited humour.

For those who can`t stand Cohen`s brand of offensive slapstick, The Dictator is anything but a breakaway from that style, and would be akin to paying to be waterboarded. But for the rest of us, The Dictator is a true weapon of mass derision. For purely defensive purposes of course.

Summary: Outrageously offensive but highly entertaining.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Raphael Lim