by Ryan Greer
Sacha Baron Cohen might as well be named the king of offensive cinema; his new comedy, The Dictator, playfully attacks various religions, races and sexual orientations and is just plain insulting. However, the film delivers a crudely funny experience: you’ll hate yourself for laughing, but you’ll laugh anyway.
Set in the Republic of Wadiya, a fictional North African country, The Dictator follows Admiral General Aladeen, a gaudy, arrogant tyrant whose main goal is to prevent free elections in his country.
Aladeen is being monitored by UN officials concerned with the country’s nuclear weapons development. With right-hand-man Tamir, played by Ben Kingsley (Ghandi, Shutter Island), the duo treks to the U.S. (which Aladeen calls “the birthplace of AIDS”) to sign a new constitution for their country.
There, Aladeen is abandoned and replaced with Zoe, played by Anna Faris (Scary Movie, House Bunny), and Aladeen must stop the signing of the constitution at all costs.
Baron Cohen definitely offends the masses in his newest film, but would one really expect anything less from the mastermind behind Borat and Bruno?
The Dictator’s crude humor lacks the authenticity and firepower of his previous two films. Borat, was unlike any film before it, but now that the world has been exposed to his brand of comedy, every film seems the same.
Baron Cohen does one thing right in providing dynamic cast, including John C. Reilly (Step Brothers, Walk Hard), Fred Armisen (SNL, Portlandia) and Bobby Lee (MADtv). Reilly’s character is offensive, but only as offensive as he needs to be; in other words, Reilly’s character does not overdo his crude humor, unlike Cohen’s.