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Sacha Baron Cohen returns as Admiral General Haffaz Aladeen in this crude but outrageously funny film. In the film we see Cohen play the dictator of North African Republic of Wadiya , who is obnoxious, misogynistic and childish. His views are very anti-Semitic and anti-western. When the UN threaten to bomb Wadiya, Aladeen has no choice but to go to New York and address the UN, which leads to hilarious consequences. When Aladeen arrives in New York he is kidnapped and replaced with his idiot double Efawadh, part of his uncle Tamir's plan to over throw the dictator.
Aladeen is rescued by Zoey played by Anna Faris. Zoey is the extreme opposite of Aladeen; she is a human rights supporter who is opposed to Aladeeen regime. Whilst Zoey is helping out Aladeen, unbeknown to her that he is the evil dictator, he is plotting with his former scientist a way to sabotage the signing of a contract for democracy in Wadiya and return to his role as the evil leader.
Overall the film is hilarious with some crude parts in it. So if you are easily offended it's not one to watch. As usual Sacha Baron Cohen nails the role in this film. He seems to suit the role of a crude character. What surprised me about this film was the number of stars in this including Ben Kingsley, Megan Fox and Edward Norton. For anyone who has seen Ali G in da house and Borat then this is one to see definitely.
I saw this film at the cinema a little while ago and was pleasantly surprised that Sacha Baron Cohen had gone from being a homosexual fashion star (Brüno) to a murderous dictator so well. His acting is perfect, not a ingle line out of place, he makes funny faces, uses an over the top accent and generally makes the role as a dictator look quite interesting to us mere hoi polloi.
Just a brief of what the film is about: The storyline is very loosely related to that of Iran and its attempt to build nuclear weapons, and in many ways makes several remarks towards this from the real world. For example, including Obama's speech saying that "we will not take anything of the table."
*SMALL SPOILER ALERT* Then the director adds his own twist to it by making him a homeless man living in Little Wadiya in New York and he hast to attempt to regain power over his country. i will say no more and wont let you in on anything else in case you haven't seen it.
The humour in this film is fantastic, its not as cheesy as Brüno and is comparable to Borat. There are a great number of racial slurs towards people from America and arabs. These are often about terrorism, Jihad, aids and pretty much everything designed to offend... Racial slurs are expect from this film and that's what the humour is based around, ignorance of another culture and the Dictator's attitude towards Americans. If you think jokes about Osama Bin Laden and 9/11 will offend you, don't watch. I personally think this is just a light hearted wind up and should not be taken too seriously!
The film has very few effects or explosions or any action related content and is solely about the humour. You can't tell if they are using a fake helicopter, if they really shot it in new york or not and everything is seamless so it works quite well.
The film is quite unique in the sense that may directors wouldn't dare tread water on the line between offensive and funny, but The Dictator does and that's what makes it something special. I very much like the way current affairs play a big role in the film with live news broadcasts throughout talking about Wadiya and the dictator himself, and in many ways this can be related to real life issues such as Iran and Terrorism in the west.
Overall a great must see film, i thought Brüno was a bit downhill from borat but this is way way up there with the Bean movie for me, very enjoyable and although risky in terms of critics and audience response, i think that's what makes it a great film. Few films do this and The Dictator was above par for me. A full 5 stars.
The Dictator is the latest movie from Sacha Baron Cohen who seemingly has given up on his TV career to focus on Movies. With a lot of publicity, interviews in character and TV adverts this film was released yesterday to packed audiences across the country most of which will have had high expectations based on the genius of Bruno and Borat. Did it live up to the hype, is this a comedy worth seeing? My overriding answer to that question would be yes!
I do not want to go into plot details too much but basically Cohen plays The Dictator of Wadiya, a fictional African state, who is under UN pressure regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. Sound familiar? Anyway by one means or another he ends up in USA and well...I won't say too much. The plot is not overly complicated and is pretty straight forward but gives good grounding for gags and set pieces.
The comedy throughout is what you would expect, jokes about the dictators of past and present, playing up to the icongraphy and myth associated with them and the craziness of the power they hold. The only one criticism I have is that the film starts rather slow with the set up and the laughs early on are thin on the ground but once they start coming around 20 minutes in it pretty much non stop. You know what humour to expect but Sacha manages to make it funny still with some excellent one liners, great cultural references and again showing he is one comedian who is on the ball. A lot of the humour is cringe inducing and one particular moment involving the song "A Moment like this" is so hard to watch but that's what makes it funny!
The one downside I have to say as well is that it would have been nice to see some "reality" moments in this. I think the best parts of Borat and Bruno are involving unwitting members of the public and celebs. This is 100% scripted and even though it is laugh out loud funny I think it would have benefitted from a few moments with the public. A missed opportunity.
However, do not let this detract you from seeing what is another top quality comedy from one of the on fire comedians of this time. See it for sure
About the film
The Dictator is a comedy film that was released on 16th May. The film is rated 15 due to strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language and some violent scenes. The film has a run time of 83 minutes.
Haffaz Alladeen is the dictator of the oil-rich (fictional) African nation of Wadiya. Alladeen is as egotistical and ruthless as dictators come, executing anyone who disagrees with him by using his signature "head chop" signal. He spends his free time collecting photos of famous American women who he has paid to have sex with him, he wins the country's Olympic games by shooting the other competitors and generally gets what he wants... apart from being Time magazine's "The Most Dangerous Man in the World".
When Alladeen is summoned by the UN to address their concerns about his nuclear program, everything begins to go wrong. Shortly after arriving, he is kidnapped by Clayton, a hitman hired by his treacherous uncle Tamir. Aladeen is replaced with a mentally-challenged body double, in order to manipulate him into signing a document democratizing Wadiya and opening the country's oil fields for business. Aladeen escapes, but his beard has been shaved off by Clayton, making him practically unrecognizable. He encounters activist Zoey who offers him a job at her alternative lifestyle co-op. Before the body double can sign away Aladeen's country and wealth, he must find a way to make himself known again and get back to his rightful place.
Sacha Baron Cohen as Admiral General Aladeen and his impostor Efawadh
Ben Kingsley as Tamir
Jason Mantzoukas as Nadal
Anna Faris as Zoey
John C. Reilly as Clayton
Chris Elliott as Mr. Ogden
Fred Armisen as Death to Aladeen Restaurant waiter
What I thought
Having never seen one of Sacha Baron Cohen's films or Ali G, I had no idea what I was getting myself in for when I went to see this film. However, my friend swore to me that it was hilarious and she actually came with me for her second viewing of it. She doesn't do that often at all so I decided to trust her on this one.
The film starts off by showing Admiral General Aladeen, played by Sacha Baron Cohen in his fictional homeland of Wadiya. The film opens by showing Aladeen in the kinds of crazy antics that he gets up to as a dictator and how he makes everything go his own way. The way that this film begins really does set it up for the rest of the time. Although Aladeen is a dictator, it is also shown that he has feelings too and wants normal things that everyone else has that he can't force people into doing for him. Sacha Baron Cohen plays the part amazingly and was extremely believable. While I wanted to hate him at times, I also felt sorry for him as well due to what he goes through in America. At the same time, he plays the part of the body double, who is insanely stupid, well and is a good contrast to Aladeen himself.
Playing the love interest, Zoey, is Anna Faris who is well-known for her comedy films now. Unfortunately, I don't think that this was one of her best. Here, she plays a feminist living a somewhat alternative lifestyle. With short brown hair, hairy arm pits and terrible dress sense, she just didn't seem like the right person for the role. Her comedic timing wasn't as good as it normally is and I think she overdid things a lot of the time. While this works in her other films, I don't think that this role called for it and it ruined the character somewhat for me. However, she does have good on screen chemistry with Sacha Baron Cohen and I loved seeing the two characters together. As they are so different, it provided a lot of banter and disagreements.
One of the main things about this film is that the jokes are extremely racist. If you find that you cannot handle this kind of thing or just can't find the topic funny, then this is not a film for you. As bad as it sounds, I did find these parts of the film hilarious and I was laughing so loud for most of the time. Even though the jokes are racist, I think that many of them are done in a way where a lot of people will find them funny rather than taking them as serious racist remarks. Sacha Baron Cohen has a reputation for picking on everyone and this film is no different.
The Dictator has an amazing soundtrack and this wasn't something I was expecting. Admiral General Aladeen has his own theme song; Dolly Parton's 9-5 is covered as well as REM's Everybody Hurts. While these songs are good and very catchy in another language, there is one song that is by far the best of the whole film. Dr. Dre's The Next Episode is covered as the song which runs through the credits. I went to see this film a couple of weeks ago and I still can't get it out of my head. The soundtrack is as catchy and funny as the whole film and is definitely a fantastic addition to the film.
This is one of those films that I would happily watch over and over again. Although the plot isn't extremely complicated, there is more to it than in a lot of comedy films. I really enjoyed the whole storyline and think that it was only strengthened by how funny it was as well. For me to say this is a big thing but this is by far the funniest and most entertaining film that I have seen in a long time. I can't recommend this film enough if you are a fan of gross, wrong and disturbing comedy.