May 20, 2012

Film Review: The Dictator

Premise:
Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen) is the dictator of the North African Republic of Wadiya and is as sleazy and scandalous as they come. His consigliere uncle, Tamir (Ben Kingsley) secretly has Aladeen kidnapped and replaces him with an idiot body double who would have otherwise only been used to be the victim of assassination attempts. Now stranded in New York, Aladeen has to stop his double and Tamir from signing a constitution that will change Wadiya from a dictatorship to a democracy, all while fighting a battle for his heart with a feminist named Zoey (Anna Farris).

Standouts:
Anna Farris really lost herself in her roll, which I mean in the best way possible. Both her appearance and her character are so drastically different than all of the other roles you've seen her in that her voice is the only hint to her true identity. Truly amazing. Also some fun cameos in this film. The biggest standout by far however, is that unlike Borat and Bruno, this is not a mockumentary where Sasha Baron Cohen candidly plays a character in front of unsuspecting dumb people and filming their reactions. He's too famous to get away with that three times. This is just a regular scripted film.

My Highlights:
Helicopter ride, little kid in the store, and everything John C. Reilly.

Overall Rating:
There are some absolutely side-splitting laughs in this film. There are also some lulls and quirky recycled jokes that aren't unfunny, but aren't as hysterical as others. Overall, this is an enjoyable film with lots of entertainment value, and a short 83 minute run-time. Just under an hour and a half. Total score...

3.5 / 5

When You Should See It:
If you're bored one day and feel like watching a comedy. Don't bother watching if it comes on cable TV in the middle of the day, because like most Sasha Baron Cohen movies, it'll have all the good stuff censored out. But this would be a perfectly fun film to check out if it comes on HBO or Showtime. Rent it if there's absolutely no other comedies out there that interest you at the moment (if that's the case, you must have already seen the amazing 21 Jump Street).

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