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The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.
brando647 13 May 2013
If you've ever watched one of Sacha Baron Cohen's movies, you'reprobably already aware that his films don't generally sit well withgeneral audiences. His movies have a twisted sense of humor and atendency to push some buttons when touching on delicate subjects:racism and xenophobia in BORAT, homophobia in BRÃNO. There's a reasonCohen's movies never reach blockbuster status; they're not foreveryone. The average Cohen movie has a loose plot establish to carrythe film from start to finish, but consists of a series of skits orgags where Cohen brings his character into situations (mockumentarystyle) where he can bring out the worst in people while (sort of)making a point about prejudices or whatnot. Or sometimes just to messwith them. In this sense, THE DICTATOR is Cohen's most mainstream movieso far. He maintains his off-color sense of humor but the movie is moreaccessible to your average movie viewer. He's dropped the mockumentarystyle of his past two films and gone with a traditional narrativestructure. No more shaky hand-held camera either. No more hidden cameraor real-world participants caught in the middle. THE DICTATOR is areturn to normal movie structure with actual plot and characterdevelopment. It is the tale of Admiral General Aladeen (Cohen) of theAfrican nation Wadiya. The latest in a long tradition of Wadiyandictators, Aladeen is on the verge of developing nuclear weaponstechnology and the United Nation has taken notice. He travels to NewYork City to confront the U.N. when he is captured and replaced by aduplicate in a plot hatched by his closest adviser to control the fateof Wadiya. Alone in a strange place and surrounded by people who wouldsee him hang, Aladeen must regain control and ensure his beloved nationremains a dictatorship.I'm a fan of Cohen's movies. I loved BORAT and, even though BRÃNOwasn't as strong, I still really enjoyed it. At first I was bothered byCohen's shift to traditional filmmaking for THE DICTATOR, but then Iremembered watching BRÃNO in theaters and wondering if his mockumentaryshtick was getting old already. Fun as the movies are, there's only somuch you can do with them. Cohen and his co-writers kept the satireelements that made his other movies so funny and shifted gears and, forthe bulk of the movie, it works well. THE DICTATOR is a funny film withsome really hilarious moments. Cohen's latest character, AdmiralGeneral Aladeen, is his best since BoratÂ even if his character'slegendary beard was distractingly fake. I love that Cohen will markethis movies while remaining in character, and it's made even better whenfirst-rate icons of the news scene go along with the joke. There's agreat scene in the movie where Aladeen is doing an exclusive interviewwith Larry King; I love that King goes along with the gag. This moviecontinues to show that Cohen is one of the funniest comedians we've gotin modern movies, even if his particular brand doesn't sit well witheveryone. It blows my mind that he got Ben Kingsley to co-star in themovie as his trusted adviser Tamir. Kingsley strikes me as a higherclass of actor, so it's that much funnier when he tries to coax hisAladeen double in getting freaky with some gorgeous virgin bodyguards.John C. Reilly adds some laughs with a short bit as Aladeen'sprotection once he arrives in New York. I only wish he'd been a biggerrole in the movie.My only real complaint with the movie is the love interest, Anna Faris.Faris does her usual bit here (while somehow becoming less hot as aliberal green grocer) as Aladeen's love interest and the plot deviceused to give Aladeen access to the hotel where he can confront Tamirand his imposter. The whole subplot exists to give Aladeen a chance towonder if, maybe, democracy isn't so bad, but it slows down the moviein the middle. Whenever Cohen and Faris were together, I would getbored and wonder when we'd get to see Aladeen and his former nuclearexpert Nadal (Jason Mantzoukas) go off on their next harebrainedscheme. Even as the movie slows down in the center, it all comestogether for a great finale in the U.N. when Aladeen tries to convincethe world that, hey, dictatorships have their perks. The movie has it'sshare of misfires but the jokes hit more often than they miss, andCohen gets a chance to tease the American government a bit. It's all infun and turns out to be a pretty good time.
Movie_Muse_Reviews 13 May 2013
Good day, democratic imbeciles. You first knew him as a Kazakh newsreporter, then as an Austrian fashionista. Now, dedicated charactercomedian Sacha Baron Cohen plays a North African fascist in "TheDictator". The journey of Admiral General Aladeen is unlike hispredecessors in that it's not done in a mockumentary style. So, howdoes this change the actor's shtick?The use of a traditional story (and those words aren't being usedlightly Â it's cookie-cutter) attempts to mainstream Cohen's brand ofhumor, whether that was a conscious choice or not. The pop-culturereferences are a bit more frequent, the potty humor dialed up and theshock gags not as inspired as say, two grown men wrestling naked andchasing each other through a hotel. All the same, Cohen's trademarksare still there, from ignorance-based jokes to thoughtful satire.The writing team that assisted Cohen with the screenplay consists ofthree "Curb Your Enthusiasm" writers, one of which is Jeff Schaffer,who wrote "Bruno." These folks are all familiar with a looser narrativestyle, in which the story builds around the jokes. Even director LarryCharles (producer on "Curb"), who did "Bruno" and "Borat," hasessentially no typical storytelling experience. As with any film with aplot simply meant to string together a necklace of gags, the individualjokes are forced to carry the film and the results are hit and miss.Aladeen is a great deal more unpredictable than Cohen's previouscharacters. You never know if you're going to get the poor idiotroutine a la "Borat" or the strong-willed dictator used to getting hisway. It keeps you on your toes, but feels less complete and ultimatelyless lovable. It also doesn't help that the plot has him trying tothwart his brother's (Ben Kingsley) plan to turn Wadiya into ademocracy. That said, Cohen most definitely wants make you feeluncomfortable rooting for a character who yearns to oppress his peopleonce again.Capped off by a simple yet brilliant speech about all the thingsAmerica could do if it were a dictatorship, Cohen's commentary hitssome strong notes during the film, even if it doesn't compare to theeye-opening methods of his first two, especially "Borat." For the mostpart, however, the script focuses on making sure no minority loses outon some form of a jab.Yet for all the genuinely creative jokes, like a misinterpretedhelicopter ride over New York City, "The Dictator" relies a bit toomuch on sight gags, like a man yanked out of a bathroom mid-urinationor the milking of a woman's breasts. It's just stupider than "Borat"and "Bruno", and with that track record in mind, you're just kind ofstunned when an obvious attempt to get laughs draws silence.Fortunately the hits outweigh the misses, but when your story isn't allthat interesting, the misses start to stand out.Given the array of recognizable cast members, "The Dictator" is alsomuch more of an ensemble effort, but it is definitely Cohen's show. Thecasting of Kingsley proves wasteful unless it was to make the pointthat Kingsley can play any race or religion, but his collaboration withCohen on "Hugo" is the likely explanation. Anna Faris tries to add someheart as a semi-butch super-organic shop owner, but she's drasticallyunderutilized for someone as funny as she has proved to be. The biggestsupporting highlights come courtesy Jason Mantzoukas (Rafi on FX's TheLeague), who plays the perfect foil to Cohen because he's given everyopportunity to call Aladeen out on his stupidity.Unsurprisingly, the bar Cohen set with "Borat" will sour people on "TheDictator". You want to walk out of one of his comedies feelingchallenged and pushed further than you ever expected (in terms ofentertainment), whereas the tone of "The Dictator" is clever, butresonates as mostly silly.As far as the "traditional comedy" experiment goes, next time (assumingthere is one) Cohen and Charles should try working with a storystructure at least resembling more of a mockumentary, evenÂdare IsayÂfound footage. It does not have to go back down the road of ropingin real people, but Cohen benefits from that touch of realism.The results of attempting to translate Cohen's style to therise-and-fall format suggest that his brand of comedy needs more spaceto breathe. The sketches and bits need time to develop organically,without an obligation to a through plot line. Fortunately, there'senough successful humor here to see Cohen through until the nextridiculous character.~Steven CThanks for reading! Visit moviemusereviews.com
Greg Phipps 10 May 2013
So, Sacha Baron Cohen's new film The Dictator features him in thetitular role as General Aladeen, a dictator of a made up country.Weird, it seems like 72 years ago, the same movie was made. *cough* TheGreat Dictator *cough* Let's go on. The titular character is thrustinto an unfamiliar world due to a string of events we learn of in thefirst 20 minutes. Like how the Jewish Barber from The GREAT Dictatorwakes up from the war and lives in Hynkel's Tomania (Hitler's Germany).The titular characters both work at a day job, and find love along theway. Through a strange turn of events, whether they'd like it to happenor not, they end up separated from their lovers, and have to give aspeech pouring out their heart for the thing they love most. (Aladeenabout anti-democracy and Jewish Barber about anti-fascism) And in theend, all is good and happy.Okay, really? Could this have more similarities to The Great Dictator,the Oscar Nominated film from 1940? The answer? Probably, if theyreally tried. I guess they just thought that no one had even seen theGreat Dictator, and just decided to use elements from it, assuming thatno one would notice. Well, we did.The film is funny at some points, but overall is really just kind ofhyped up and repeatedly offensive to the point of exhaustion. The movieis only 83 minutes long, but feels longer. And with all the scenes inthe trailers that were cut from the main film, it seems like the filmwas a lot less funny than I hoped it would be. It's decent, but notreally worth all the hype and building up over. Overall, I give it a 7/10. It's funny, but not GOOD comedy like I washoping.
ChrTru 09 May 2013
First talk about Borat, which was a refreshing comedy by an actor whocan stay in his role like he IS the person. It was not too great butalso not too bad. The concept was good and it had a strong start. Afterthe first 20 minutes most of the laughing is over and the movie becomesdull.Than another movie about a weird guy who leaves its beloved habitat andgoes to America, where it all changes: BrÃ¼noAnd now, brace yourselves, ANOTHER movie about a weird guy who leavesits beloved habitat and goes to America, where it all changes. It's thesame thing over and over again! What'll be the next Sacha B Cohenmovie? A North Korean fundamentalist, blinded by the country'spropaganda, sent to America where his life all changes??It would be forgiven if the movie had a good storyline and didn'tbecome dull after the first 20 minutes like the others. But it isn't.Only the first 20 minutes (once again) are enjoyable. It's like Borator BrÃ¼no all over again, in a different package and even more cheesy.To summarize Borat, BrÃ¼no and The Dictator: Good ideas with a strongstart, but written by an incompetent writer who doesn't know how tofill at least 90 minutes of movie while his only funny ideas arealready written in the first 20 minutes.That's really how the moviesare experienced: like the ideas are gone after 20 minutes and theydesperately need to fill 90 minutes. This explains why Sacha B Cohendelivers short, strong and funny appearances, but can't deliver in amovie.The idea however and the concept of a Dictator with it's decadentpalace and uniforms turned a smile on my face when I heard about it forthe first time. It sounded like it would be the best Sacha B Cohenmovie to date with great potential. Unfortunately it's once again astory which tumbles down a maelstrom during the watching.
evening1 09 May 2013
Yet, given it's a Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, I'd have liked even more."Borat" was large and "Bruno," while often very funny, aimed smaller."Dictator" takes Cohen back to the heights he dominates, yet alsoleaves the impression success may be dulling his edge.Still, the story is irresistible: Shamelessly sexist Middle Easterndespot falls for hairy-underarms progressive foodie. Combine thisclassic miss-match with non-stop one-liners targeting a herd of sacredcows and you've got an irresistible 83 minutes.Some scenes are so over-the-top it's nothing short of amazing (think911 attackers, "see you in 15 minutes," and first-time masturbation).Yet there's a repetitious and obvious quality to some of the humor andI think this flick could have been better with tighter editing. Even so, Cohen's a stellar talent and I can't wait to see what and whohe skewers next.
NutzieFagin 08 May 2013
The Dictator is really a clever idea. A Dictator from some unheard ofMiddle East country (we assume it is because there is a lot of sand anddesert) He is ruthless, and a non likable person who seems to be hellbent on his own hedonistic pleasures and making a "must be pointed"missile to conquer the world. He also sends everyone for execution at adrop of the hat. Amid this chaos, there are numerous plotters andassassins who want to take him out. Only when he visits the U.N inAmerica, he will have a chance of redemption and true love with a cuteelvish "going green" woman whom he unexpectedly meets at a protest.Good plot but I think I have already seen this in a Marx Brothers moviecalled "Duck Soup".Sasha Cohen's previous hit movies "Borat" and "Bruno" were hit moviesbecause they had impromptu situations and scenes. The fun of seeingregular people react to the wacky scenes in a Candid Camera set up wasthe real magic of these films. Here in the film, The Dictator we hadnone of that humor. Everything was scripted and acted out by trainedactors where I felt the real attraction or fun of the film was sorelymissed. also some of the jokes were weird in a Sasha Ben Cohen way butnot really funny. However, there were some jokes that hit theirmark--but most were not that great and possibly offensive by some.Also like Duck Soup, the conclusion was a little fuzzy. Although hefinally found true love and happiness and claimed his country was ademocracy---it seemed noting changed politically as well. Does thatmean that the character also has not changed? No matter! The wholestory is considered a fairy tale but I think the messages are somewhatconfusing. I would probably recommend the movie. But not at the priceof a theater ticket---wait until it comes out on DVD with a slightdiscount price. The Dictator is not a entirely bad movie--just one thatseemed to miss its mark or audience.
umar-555 07 May 2013
*** This review may contain spoilers ***The title is about a dictator who's trying to stop democracy fromreaching his country but whats the movie really about is mocking otherculture and very disgusting racism and insulting religion and someshallow knowledge about Arabs , i don't really know who sacha think heis. even when he showed in red carpet he came and made a mess ,he gottastop this silly comedy but i don't think so because this is all he got, clowning and insulting, this think can never be comedy. sacha reallyhave a serious issues and i'm not going to watch any of his moviesbecause it is a waste time and clowning is not really my taste and whati think this movie deserve is 1 of 10 and no more. this actor can ridehis camel back home .this movie is really what prove that comedy now isnot very good and its turned into clowning .
Troy_Campbell 07 May 2013
Sacha Baron Cohen has been hailed by many as a master of comedy. I'mnot one of those. Although I thought Borat was hysterical, I found hisAli G and Bruno creations dull and worthy of a chuckle at best. Thissatire on dictatorship (the hint is in the title) gratefully landscloser to the Borat end of the scale. There are numerous gags thatfizzle away, however these are counterbalanced by a plethora oflaugh-out-loud moments that had me crying with laughter. Cohen isballsy, there's no doubting that, and his latest character Â thefascist, racist, sexist, homicidal and egotistical war criminal GeneralAladeen Â dishes out jokes that centre on sexual abuse and genocide,among other things, all the while ensuring women and minority groupsare belittled at every possible opportunity. Cohen's style of comedyisn't everybody's cup of tea Â Bruno certainly wasn't mine Â however Ishamefully have to admit that The Dictator had me in stitches.
motherbenn 07 May 2013
Sacha Baron Cohen's film "The Dictator" is too hilarious! Cohen takesthe despotic leaders of Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt etc.--rollsthem all up into one tyrannical, misogynist, terrorist package--andbecomes the Don Rickles of in-your-face, race-based, satirical comedy.His portrayal of a Middle Eastern dictator is racist, offensive and ajoy to watch. There is a "goat" milking scene that will make you bust agut.Cohen also spoofs liberal, lefty, tree hugging activists--lampooningtheir assault on the establishment and global no-goodniks everywhere.In a series of mistaken identity plots, his character falls in lovewith an over-achieving vegan from Amherst College who he meets at aprotest rally outside the UN.I laughed hard when I heard the Arabic language versions of"Funkytown," Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and other R&B classics.This movie is a smart, entertaining political satire. It's good tolaugh about the Middle East for a change. I laughed until I cried.
Curtis Spencer Denny 06 May 2013
This movie is a complete change of format for Cohen's film style sincemockumentary's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make BenefitGlorious Nation of Kazakhstan and BrÃ¼no. Was it a logical step for hisfilms to take or is it just one step that never needed to be taken? Ali G Indahouse: The Movie is similar where genre is concerned, butthat came after two seasons of Da Ali G Show so we had time tofamiliarize ourselves with the character Cohen was mocking in the firstplace. Aladeen in The Dictator didn't seem to have the same sort ofcharacter progression so I watched this latest addition inline-crossing impersonations with a different frame of mind. BecauseCohen had such success with Borat and BrÃ¼no, it seems bizarre to moveback to the commonplace comedy genre. It may have had morebelievability if Cohen wasn't the actor. If he had stepped aside, letsomeone else act and set up a back-story where he actually found thisdictator and wanted to make a documentary about him, it may have drawnme in more than it did then. But I guess only Cohen can play hischaracters like he does. But, he may have just wanted to make a funnymovie, not believable, just relatable to what western people understandabout real dictators of the world.As a comedy though, I can't say I was in stitches. Some of thecharacters are hilariously stupid, the usual crude displays andattempts at offensive humour are all there, and the grand scale ofAladeen's arrogance is funny but tapers off at an alarming pace. Itseemed to lose track after he went to America where they clearingwanted Aladeen to change his ways and fall in love with literally thepolar opposite of him. The romantic plot point takes up most of themovie and becomes his motivation in his final (well put) speech. I'dlike to believe a few of the jokes are unscripted.To wrap up, fans of Cohen's work may be disappointed that he's toorecognizable to continue fooling Americans into thinking he's reallysome wacky foreign guy. But it's something Cohen can't really avoid,and I can appreciate that he wants to make new characters but perhapsthis type of film is what Cohen will now be limited to. For now, we canlook curiously look forward to his portrayal of Freddie Mercury.
jackdub75 06 May 2013
If I could've voted negative, I would have. This is by far the worst ofhis movies I've seen. I wanted to laugh, and even tried a few times,but it was really only out of pity. I truly wish I could take back thehour and a half that I spent watching it. I can't believe this actuallymade it to film. Don't waste your time or money, even if it's only adollar rental. I actually paid $5.99 to rent this on demand, and Ireally feel cheated, annoyed and betrayed. SBC should really consider anew line of work, because his acting is questionable, and really makeshim look like a giant, goofy ridiculous man. I sort of liked Borat, andtolerated Bruno, even though I feel guilty for finishing it. SBC needsto try a different genre if he wants to continue acting, because theseroles do not suit him, or vice versa.
Boba_Fett1138 06 May 2013
Seriously, I love Sacha Baron Cohen as both a comedian and actor and Iam actually still convinced of it that he will win an Oscar some daybut this movie unfortunately was a big misstep.Lets be honest. Is this movie in essence any better than a Ben Stiller,Adam Sandler or even Rob Schneider flick? In my opinion absolutely not!It suffers from the exact same problems and comedy-wise they have justabout as many hits and misses in them.It is simple; this movie its foremost problem is really its script.It's actually shockingly weak and simplistically written. First of all,it isn't being original enough in any way and second, the way itprogresses is all extremely predictable. Nothing in this movie happensas a surprise but what is maybe even more disappoint and troubling isthat the movie is lacking edge and punch. It's actually a pretty tamemovie, by normal Sacha Baron Cohen standards, even though its conceptand main character all sounds like something potentially offensive andpolitically incorrect. However I feel that nothing about this movieworks out as anything offensive or edgy and Sacha Baron Cohen is simplyjust playing a comical character, that is way over-the-top and relieson written material, rather than Cohen's improvisation skills.It really is a movie with more misses than hits in it, comedy-wise. Andwhen it hits, it doesn't ever hit very hard. There are some mild laughsbut that's about all I could get out of this movie.I don't even feel that Sacha Baron Cohen plays a very good character inthis case. It's a character that is way too over-the-top but yet hestill never goes far enough with it. Aladeen is never really beingcruel or threatening enough. His actions are just simply stupid andignorant, in a childish kind of way.The movie is never anything annoying or truly horrible to watch butstill there is no good reason why you should ever go watch it, in thefirst place.5/10 http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
p-stepien 05 May 2013
International fame effectively mean that Sacha Baron Cohen canadmittedly no longer get away with spoof characters such as Borat, AliG or BrÃ¼no, thus forced to bring it with narrative features. In anattempt to replicate the crude brilliance of his breakthroughcharacters, Cohen conceives an equally offensive and explicit idea ofplaying a despicable dictator with truly unlimited politicalincorrectness. This time around Cohen seamlessly takes over the role ofWadiyan ruler supreme Aladeen, famed torturer, mass murderer,weapons-of-mass-destruction fanatic, serial rapist, Jew hater and -naturally - billionaire. Due to international pressure Aladeen venturesin New York to attend a United Nations session, which aims to discusshis dictatorship. Unfortunately for the well-meaning despot his righthand Tamir (Ben Kingsley) supplants him with a goat-loving villager.Aladeen manages to escape, but without his pronounced beard and anydocuments he is unable to prove his identity. Chance brings him into aWadiyan expats, such as the 'assassinated' nuclear scientist Nadal(Jason Mantzoukas), and finally under the protection of unsuspectinghuman rights activist slash ape-armpit lesbian slash health foodretailer Zooey (Anna Faris). Thus comes a welcome sequel to "Coming toAmerica"...Sascha Baron Cohen is crass, obscene, absurd and has no qualms atpushing the bar. Unlike "BrÃ¼no" and "Ali G in Da House" the scriptmanages to balance the purely disgusting and counterpointing it withwitty political / social commentary, hidden behind the drasticallyoverboard characters. Audiences are fully aware about the absurdextremity of Aladeen, but his character still manages to engage to anextent that Cohen manages to pull off the seemingly impossible:creating a sense of affinity towards a mass-murderer, where you can'thelp but cheer him on in his endeavours. "The Dictator" is an obscene,but simultaneously extremely successful satire, equally open toridiculing the oil nations as well as the 'superior morality' of theWest and America specifically. Unbelievable how something so crude canpossess such pronounced substance...
Preskoto 05 May 2013
Just to note i haven't watched "Borat" or "Bruno",so i only kinda knewwhat to expect from the movie.In short it's a really great film,filed with great humour and greatactors,that doesn't take itself too seriously and it shouldn't be takenseriously from the audience around the globe.It's lighthearted comedyfor those who have a hour or two to spare.The main problem for me (as noted in the title) is that the trailergave away maybe 70% of the really really funny parts.I remember seeingthe trailer for the first time i laughed for a good 5 minutes after itended.The second time i saw it,it actually convinced me to go and seethe movie later on,expecting much more from it.In the end i can't say i was disappointed i still think it's a greatmovie,just with a trailer that gives away less of the really funnymoments it would have been a much,much more memorable experience.But iguess that's my mistake since i know that trailers usually give away50% of the comedies these days.
Martin Tuskevicius 02 May 2013
I went to see this movie with my friend. I would consider that we bothhave a good sense of humor and are open to all sorts of jokes. I haveseen other movies by Sacha Baron Cohen, like Bruno and Borat. I foundBorat to be hilarious, but Bruno was a bit over the top for me. Thismovie strikes a balance between the two, but leans more towards (mypersonally favored) Borat side.The comedy in this movie is both hilarious and uncomfortable at times.It has the same LOL- quality as it did in Borat, but there are sceneswhere the comedy is so crude that it is almost uncomfortablewatching/listening to it. The movie is definitely funny, but you willnot enjoy it if you do not find jokes about racism and stereotypesfunny.The plot is your typical Sacha Baron Cohen plot; a person from anentirely different culture travels to America and you watch howincompatible the two cultures are. Also, just like most of Sacha BaronCohen movies, there is a love story intertwined. It's not the dramaticand sensitive kind of love story though. The plot itself is not veryimmersive, and I believe that its only purpose is to lead you to thefunny parts.I will say this though, the ending speech of this movie given by 'TheDictator' really impressed me. It made me realize how well Sacha BaronCohen understands politics and stereotypes. You have to hear it foryourself.If you're looking for a movie with consistent but crude laugh-out-loudcomedy, but do not look for a serious and powerful plot, then you willenjoy this film. On the other hand, if you cringe at racist andstereotype jokes, you will be covering your ears virtually the entiremovie.Approach with an open mind.
Blah Blah 01 May 2013
*Perhaps the film can teach people about the reality of life about manywomen in the world who suffer from men's control and ignorance thatprevents many women from constructively contributing to society but areunable to 'enjoy' it as a result of a male dominated materialistcapitalist world.*BTW. Not to minimize previous posted reviews but it would help ifspelling and grammar are correct. It would give more credibility.Editor's notes: Perhaps the film can teach people about the reality oflife about (wrong preposition) many (should be "the many") women in theworld who suffer from men's control and ignorance that (should be"which", with a comma before it) prevents (this verb should be inplural form) many women from constructively contributing (redundancy)to society but are unable to 'enjoy' (what do the quotation marks mean?Are you being ironic, or trying to emphasize the verb? Quotation marksdon't emphasize) it as a result of a male dominated (hyphen required,comma required) materialist (comma required) capitalist world.BTW. Not to minimize ("belittle" would be a more appropriate word)previous (should be "previously") posted reviews (comma required) butit would help if spelling and grammar are (you're mixing real andunreal conditionals: "it will help...") correct. It would give(indirect object required: "give your reviews") more credibility.
Br007 30 April 2013
The non-stop jokes, off-color humor, slapstick and under 90 minuterunning time of "The Dictator" hearkens back to early Woody Allen gemslike "What's Up Tiger Lily," "Take The Money and Run," "Bananas," and"Love and Death. And, in the world of comedy, that's quite acompliment.Like Cohen, Allen's first films were often misunderstood. Some folksjust did not get the joke. Many still don't get it today. The object ofcomedy has always been to take down the high and mighty by whatevermeans necessary. And, if you happen to be a Middle Eastern despot, youwill find much to be offended by here. But, as Allen often did as well,Cohen uses racial and gender stereotypes to shine a light on people'sattitudes, and that's likely to put off others as well. That's fine.Some comedy just isn't for everyone.While his writing style owes much to Allen, his acting chops are alsoinfluenced heavily by one of Britain's greatest comics, Peter Sellers.You can see it in his outrageous accents and in his ridiculouspratfalls. Like Sellers, Cohen is fearless in his characterizationsand, again, like Sellers, there will be those who will take offense inthis. Again, not for everyone. But, if you laughed your butt off atSellers' simpleton Indian character destroying a Hollywood party, youwill be laughing here too.And that's what we're talking about; laughs. Not every joke works. Manyfall flat. But the film starts off fast and furious with a rapidsuccession of gags, most of which work hilariously, settles down for abit and then takes off again, literally. His verbal sparring withco-star Jason Mantzoukas is one of the highlights as are many of thefun cameo appearances and a running joke about his name that I will notreveal here. There are many great sight gags that are easily missed andthe appearance of his Efawadh character at the U.N. channels a sceneright out of Allen's "Sleeper." There's a few scatological and sexjokes also (one about excrement, one about urination, one aboutmasturbation, several about body parts), and these, if you ask me, arethe low point of the film (except a child birth scene that's as funnyas it is outrageous). But, the bodily fluid gags, so rampant in comedyfilms today, are actually few and far between.We're not dealing with "Citizen Kane" here. But, then, this film mademe laugh much more.
barbara-364 30 April 2013
On one level, this film is extremely funny slapstick, but it's veryclever too. For me one of the funniest bits was when Aladeen hangs on awire above the streets of New York and gets rid of a health drink whichhe says has as much potassium as three bananas and then he gets ridthree bananas from another pocket, in case the drink didn't work. Healso voids himself of his pooh (he's been a bit constipated) to makehimself lighter. Of course it lands on someone's head. Aladeen listsmany of the 'advantages' of having a dictatorship in his speech to theUnited Nations. Some of his arguments, I noticed particularly the pointabout allowing banks to gamble with people's money and having theprisons mostly populated by one ethnic group are actually features ofcertain western democracies. I was laughing all the way through thisspeech! It's a laugh out loud film, although some of Aladeen's apparentexploits as a dictator, talked about, not demonstrated, were a littlebit too near the knuckle for me. I particularly loved the way he madeup names for himself out of notices and the way he took over therunning of the shop. The whole film is clever and i probably need tosee it more than once to appreciate all of it.
summerfilmsonbigscreen 27 April 2013
How do you parody a jihadist dictatorship? Since truth is stranger thanfiction, even to try seems futile. It's impossible to shock anyone in afilm any more. Sacha Baron Cohen seems aware, and instead tells usalmost an escapist story of The Dictator who everyone wishes to see ina good light, in spite of the contrary evidence he himself is more thanready to gather for them. Some of the satire works, for example the oilfueled international news media's real life attempt to whitewash eachhostile act / speech any certain person makes, as long as that personhas a certain connection.By "not just a collection of gags" I do not however mean the film has adeep message. At heart it's an almost apolitical rom com, a love storybetween Aladeen and the lesbian midget who does not shave her arm pits,who Aledeen first mistook as a boy (if this depiction offends you, thefilm will as well). You could hear a pin drop during the first gags,that seem a rehash from each similar gag seen on talk shows, but assoon as our protagonist gets to America, the story kicks in and thegags get funnier. Having "Waadeyan" versions of well known pop songsadds a nice touch.The Dictator owns a lot to Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940),completed with doubles and (semi) good hearted end speech (don't thinkfor a moment he learned his lesson). While The Great Dictator seemsnaive this day and age, when the true life atrocities of nazi Germanyhave been revealed, The Dictator seems a feel good comedy. With allsources around these days, don't expect to get your education from acomedy film.Call it wish fulfillment if you like, but I wanted to see something ofa modern version of Woody Allen's Bananas (1971), and it's pretty muchwhat I got (and I'm not just talking about the false beards andbananas). It's a good sign a comedy works when the most innocent gagsmake you laugh as much as the "adult" oriented material. Ben Kingsleyas Aladeen's not-so-trustworthy ally is doing exactly what a supportingplayer should do, support the story. Well done, Sir. Same goes for theother players.
Frank Drebin 26 April 2013
Ali G, Borat and Bruno Â I loved. The Dictator Â I hated.I never thought I'd see the day where I actually turned OFF a SachaBaron Cohen film but I couldn't bear to waste anymore of my lifewatching this terrible excuse of a 'comedy.' His previous characterswere all funny because of the raw humour and the way they took the p*ssout of all the right people in a very clever way. The Dictator howeverdoesn't.The film is full of dud jokes and desperate attempts to be funny. Itfails.I work in the film industry and know people that have worked with SachaBaron Cohen. They say he has become a 'diva' and treats crew and behindthe scenes staff with total disrespect. Unfortunately it seems as ifthe man has become a victim of his own success.If the fame and money has gone to his head maybe he should use thatmoney to retire early and spend time with his family. If he makesanother shocking (for all the wrong reasons) film like The Dictatoragain he will destroy all the good work he has done with previous films/ shows / characters.