Friday, May 18, 2012

Movie Review: The Dictator (2012)


Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley in 'The Dictator'
Sacha Baron Cohen in 'The Dictator'

The movie begins with an introduction to Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen) who rules the fictional country, Wadiya with an iron fist. Aladeen is a certifiable megalomaniac, who hosts his own version of the Olympic Games, Golden Globe awards and demands complete submission from his countrymen.

His plans to develop nuclear weapons soon incur the ire of the UN and Wadiya is threatened with military intervention. Aladeen decides to pay a visit to the UN headquarters.

Unbeknownst to him, his close ally Tamir (Ben Kingsley) has been plotting for quite a while to dispose of the much-hated dictator and bring democracy to his nation. The upcoming visit to the US proves to be a very tempting chance to finally achieve his goal and Tamir plan to replace Aladeen with a decoy.

The plan does not go as expected and Aladeen escapes with his life and finds himself penniless on the streets of NY and has also lost his infamous beard to boot!

As per his plans, Tamir performs the switch and plans to declare democracy at the UN summit. Aladeen is determined to regain his throne and ensure that democracy is not ushered in Wadiya.


Anna Faris with Sacha Baron Cohen in 'The Dictator'
Anna Faris with Sacha Baron Cohen in 'The Dictator'
Cohen is back with his frequent collaborator Larry Charles to deliver yet another exercise in absolute irreverence. Nothing is sacred or beyond reproach as far as this movie is concerned. Spoofing recent world events in addition to their usual targets (religious/national/cultural stereotypes), the movie also has scenes with humor of an extremely infantile nature. Private parts are on abundant display and even a romantic scene between the leads has some groan-inducing moments.

Jason Mantzoukas plays the character of Nadal, a former top scientist in Wadiya and has some excellent scenes with Cohen. The scenes where these two talented actors share the screen are easily the highlights of the movie and help the movie overcome the lazy script. The scene at a cafe in NY where Aladeen comes close to being lynched and comes up with made-up names (by reading the various instructions and signs posted inside the cafe) is a genuine piece of rib-tickling comedy without any gross/vulgar undertones.

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Anna Faris has been cast as Zoey, the requisite female lead and does her best with the role. Sir Ben Kingsley reminds us that even actors need to pay their bills.

In addition to Megan Fox, Ed Norton has a cameo as well.


Megan Fox and Sacha Baron Cohen in 'The Dictator'
Megan Fox and Cohen in 'The Dictator'

It is an out and out star vehicle for Cohen. He has a very unique brand of humor as evidenced in his previous movies, especially Borat. If this is your cup of tea, the movie is right up your alley. If that is not the case, the movie will disgust and amuse you in equal turns.

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52 comments:

  1. Thanks for the comment- I enjoyed your review too!

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  2. kickass review mate. Keep up the great work.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Isaiah. Glad you enjoyed the review as much I did writing it :)

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  3. I especially liked the last paragraph. Even those who don't like Sacha Baron Cohen will be amused. Good review! :)

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  4. Good review! Thanks for the comment on mine too!

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  5. Great Review...Very well written and put

    Also thanks for the comment on mine

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  6. Nice work, buddy2. I'll be following...
    Cheers to you!

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  7. Great Review! Thank you for the comment on ours as well, we look forward to following your blog!

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    Replies
    1. Welcome Folks and Thanks for following :)

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  8. "Sir Ben Kingsley reminds us that even actors need to pay their bills."

    I like the subtlety of that!

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  9. A much more brilliant review than mine lol :)

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  10. Nice review! Thanks for checking out mine as well!

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  11. Liked the review! Reviews of "Battleship" & "The Dictator" are on my blog too!!! Check it. And look for a review of "What to Expect When Your Expecting" soon!!!

    http://ethanunscripted.blogspot.com/2012/05/you-sunk-my-battleship.html

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  12. Nice review, I like Baron Cohen but this movie didn't hit home for me.

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  13. Right on the money!!! Great Review... (Thanks for visiting my page)

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  14. I like it. Much better than my review.

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  15. Very good review , very well done , thanks for your comment on mine .

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  16. While I respectfully disagree, I enjoyed your review. Very well spoken. Thank you for the comment on mine, and I am now subscribed to your blog, so I look forward to reading your other work.

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  17. I was annoyed that some of the scenes in the trailer didn't make the final cut, but apart from that and Charles' clumsy direction, I thought it was decent and consistently funny.
    Excellent review, and thanks for the comment on mine. :)

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    Replies
    1. I too noticed the missing scenes. Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Nice synopsis of the movie. Good review.

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  19. Great Review! Thank you for the comment on ours as well.

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  20. Yeah! Great review! I agree with everything you said about it. Thanks for reading my blog as well! I'm over at www.mikeyatthemovies11.blogspot.com to everyone else. Keep up the awesome reviews!!

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  21. Nicely done, thanks for checking out mine too.

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  22. Good work - thanks for stopping by Darkmatters - have just joined your group of Google 'Followers' and will be a regular reader now :)

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  23. Not a bad review. A few spoilers and i don't think there was enough criticism of the things that were bad. but a good review none the less.

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