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Dictator, The (2012)

Director(s): Larry Charles

Theatrical Release: 2012

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Sayed Badreya, Jason Mantzoukas, Michele Berg

Genre(s): Comedy

Countries: USA

Location in store: Hollywood > Comedy

(1 / 1)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 98m.

The Dictator wants to inspire outrage and hilarity in equal measures. Sacha Baron Cohen rose to fame through Borat, a sort of Candid Camera movie that let real people reveal their prejudices in response to an outrageously conceived character. Here, Cohen acts in a scripted story about an equally outrageous character, a brutal dictator named Aladeen, ruler of the fictional North African country of Wadiya. While in New York to protest United Nations sanctions against him, Aladeen is kidnapped by a scheming underling (Ben Kingsley) and stripped of his beard, rendering him unrecognizable. A vegan co-op manager (Anna Faris, pretty unrecognizable herself in a black wig) takes him under her wing, leading to a change of heart… sort of. Cohen's lowbrow humor is oddly intellectual. He's a student of comedy, analyzing the current boundaries so he can push at them, seeking something that will still shock. The result? Jokes about rape--lots and lots of jokes about rape--along with an anthology of gags about body functions and racism. The effect is more calculated than comical. Cohen's deeply cynical perspective suggests that, in a world where everyone has a price (one of the movie's running themes), the audience will cheer on a murdering megalomaniac because at least his narcissism is pure. But The Dictator seems like a movie only a murdering megalomaniac could really love. (Bret Fetzer)


DVD Special Features:

! Includes Theatrical and Unrated Versions of film

! Deleted & Extended Scenes