I didn’t really know what to make of this movie at first. Although I didn’t expect it to be as good Borat, a film that I would rank as one of the funniest films of the decade, I at least thought it would be somewhat similar. Like Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen plays an offensive foreigner but ignoring the slight character differences, the thing that really shocked me about this film was how conventional it was.
In his previous two films, the best comedic moments came from his interactions with real people. Since The Dictator is the first completely scripted movie Sacha Baron Cohen has stared in, I was looking forward to what he would do without any unsuspecting subjects to victimize. Unfortunately, what he delivered was a pretty ordinary plot with hit or miss laughs throughout. Now, that is not to say that the movie wasn’t funny, there were a few moments of brilliance but they were few and far between as the bulk of this movie consisted of cheap, dirty humor and underhanded racist humor that we have come to expect from Sacha Baron Cohen.
The big reason I didn’t love this movie was because I saw a lot of untapped potential in it. At times, the movie was actually full of some pretty relevant and funny social satire about the somewhat corrupt state of government, but it is hard to enjoy the smart humor when you are busy groaning at the jokes and gags that aren’t dissimilar to the kind of immature jokes people made in elementary school.
Even though I saw this movie twice, it seems like there just isn’t very much to say about it. The Dictator is just a movie with very little substance. Most of the scenes in the movie add little to the plot and are just for the sake of getting a rise out of the audience. In addition, the character in this movie, Admiral General Aladeen, is probably the least effort we have seen Sacha Baron Cohen put into a character to date.
So, should you see this movie? I would probably have to say yes. If you have friends who want to go see it, I would recommend you go with them, because despite how dumb this movie can be, I would be lying if I said I didn’t laugh out loud in the movie theater a number of times. It is not a particularly good movie, but even with the bad jokes it is a pretty funny movie.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5