Movie review: 'Dictator' filled with successful satire, but lacks rationality
AT A GLANCE
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley
Run time: 83 minutes
As you may have heard, a notorious Middle Eastern dictator is coming to America. Do not fear, however, for it is only Sacha Baron Cohen making his summer movie debut in “The Dictator.”
The story centers on a power-hungry, obnoxious dictator named Admiral General Aladeen of the fictitious North African country “Waadeya.” After the rest of the world discovers his country is developing nuclear weapons, the U.N. gives Aladeen the ultimatum of either being attacked via air-strikes, or making an appearance at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
In an effort to appeal to the U.N.'s demands, the dictator decides to head to America in order to give a speech. As for the rest of the story, hilarity ensues and it climaxes with an obnoxious-but-fitting ending.
As for my review, it is a scripted comedy that takes advantage of Cohen’s ability to say or do just about anything to get laugh. This is by far the some of the best work Cohen has done compared to his infamous Borat persona.
Although the movie lacks a rational storyline or depth, it makes up for this with its share of laugh-out-loud moments, which are rampant throughout.
One scene in particular, which almost had me in tears, is one involving a torture scene gone wrong, but I will not spoil the fun for anyone.
Even within the first five minutes of the film, I had heard at least five racial stereotypes being exploited. Many of the gags included jokes about Middle Easterners, Jews, women, blacks and much more. This is not bad, however, given that Cohen is known for finding the comfort line and crossing clear over it.
In addition to Cohen leading the way with his goofy sense of humor, the supporting cast also is at its funniest. One of my favorite characters in the film was John C. Riley’s witty rendition of a racist bodyguard.
Although the film's story line has little rationality, it is full of satirical political humor. One of the best examples of this is near the climax of the film, where Cohen’s character basically lists all the negative things about democracy, which was probably one of the most cleverly spoken jokes of the entire film.
That being said, this movie is not for people with a strong moral compass, due to the amount of offensive and often crude humor. However, if you're looking for a quick laugh and a few gross-out moments (one involving childbirth) this flick should definitely satisfy your need for a good laugh.
Max Meier is a broadcast & electronic media sophomore.