Sacha Baron Cohen enlightens us with the offensive brand of humor that we are used to getting from him but this time he tries the narrative route but does that make it funnier?
The Dictator is exactly what you expect it to be when you go in. It’s incredibly offensive but you find yourself laughing at the jokes even though you know it’s wrong. This brand of outrageously offensive humor has become the brand of Sacha Baron Cohen and as I said, it comes expected. But in this movie he decides to throw us a curve ball. In his previous movies, Cohen has played characters Borat and Bruno in a mockumentary style movie with the people in the movie not always being in on the joke. But in The Dictator, he decides to go with a straight narrative and it falls flat on his face.
While I respect the try at making this movie a narrative, he gives us a terribly written and incredibly boring one. The story not only did not genuinely change the character, it really did not do anything to change the landscape of the people involved as well. What I mean is that after everything happened, what really happened? While I’m aware that this is a comedy that doesn’t give this movie a pass to not give us a story and that lack of a clean narrative greatly hurt how good this movie could of been. While I thought it was very funny and for what it was aiming it, it was successful, but when you have this character going nowhere I can’t get on board with saying that it is hilarious or great.
On the other hand, Sacha Baron Cohen’s portrayal of Aladeen is probably his second best impersonation behind only Borat. The character is outrageous and keeps you laughing from beginning to end but going back to the story problem, this character does not change or accomplish anything and while that isn’t always a priority in these kinds of movies it still would of made the movie a little better if the character would of accomplished something by the end that wasn’t forced or contrived in the script.
The supporting cast was ok with the headliners being Ben Kingsley and Anna Faris. Kingsley was not used at all and not very well and was pretty much a washout character. He had a plot forced upon him and didn’t seem like he really wanted to try to make this role anything special. He just kind of faded out without even being introduced well. Faris was a very bland and poorly written character and seemed to be more a forced romance rather than an actual character.
In conclusion, The Dictator is exactly what you expect and nothing more. It doesn’t reach the level of Borat but it isn’t nearly as bad as Bruno. It will make you laugh the first time you see it but I highly doubt multiple views are in order.