The Dictator review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
For all those who already feel that Sacha Baron Cohen is recycling what is essentially the same racist, prejudice and offensive drivvle for several years now then his latest parody, The Dictator is not for you, for those who feel his work is pushing boundaries and quietly witty and wicked then The Dictator is likely only to come as a mild disappointment, for those who find the sight of a baby born with a full beard and pubic hair funny then The Dictator will have you in stitches.
The humour that Sacha Baron Cohen has become so famous for, from his TV personality Ali G to his feature film performance as Borat runs riot in The Dictator, so much so that it I find it hard to believe anyone over the age of 15 is likely to find it even the slightest bit entertaining after the first fifteen minutes of screen time; and yet the story goes on for a further 68.
Although it seems somewhat redundant at this point, as The Dictator is little more than a vessel through which the writers can make masturbation jokes, the story that loosely holds the movie together is that of an African dictator, General Admiral Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen); who is ordered to stand before the UN in New York charged with developing nuclear weapons.
There is the surprising inclusion of the rather tongue in cheek notion that the real reason behind the UN’s attempt to bring about a democracy in Aladeen’s home nation is to gain access to the oil beneath it. Beyond this however I did not find a single aspect of this movie interesting, funny or provocative and leaving the theatre the only question on my mind was: “What the hell is Ben Kingsley doing in this?” The man won an Oscar for playing Ghandi for goodness’ sake; some mysteries I fear may never be solved, the intrigue surrounding my option of The Dictator however is quite obvious.