Posted July 29, 2012 by Earl Maghirang in Movies/TV

MOVIE REVIEW: The Dictator

Review for “The Dictator” starring Sacha Baron Cohen from Solar-UIP


I never did like the Sacha Baron Cohen movies, but that was till I caught “The Dictator”.

In the new movie Cohen plays the role of Admiral General Aladeen, a dictator of the North African country of Wadiya. He’s a stereotypical dictator, orders people’s execution and stuff like that. And just all the other dictators that have come and gone, he’s also got his own little intricacies which gets shown prominently in the movie. He held his own Olympic games where he came out as a gold medalist and even won an award for a movie that he produced, directed and starred in.

What can I say, the movie was hilarious. Yes it was politically incorrect. It was just so politically incorrect that you just can’t help but laugh. If you’re used to seeing Cohen films then you would probably know what to expect. There’s nudity and a lot of swearing and oh-so-wrong-but-its-so-funny moments.

The great thing about The Dictator is that while you’ve seen some of the funny stuff of the film on all the trailers, it still yields a few surprises here and there. I’d like to cite on good example. Remember that scene where we see Aladeen finishing up on Megan Fox? It’s actually somewhere in the plethora of trailers that came out for the film…

Well that scene was funny but when you see the film, you’ll laugh even harder at what happens next…

One gripe I have with the film comes Ben Kingsley. Why oh why do they always cast him as the bad guy, the uncle with the schemes (re: Prince of Persia). Really, do we really need to see a great actor just reduced to being typecasted as a villain all the time?

Anyway aside from that its fun to watch The Dictator. I’m pretty sure the plot is all the same, deposed royalty starts living a life with commoners and the next thing you know he gets the chance to be back on the game now with some weird enlightenment ideas hovering over him.

The best things about the film is that its not apologetic about the jokes and puns that they make. Each and every racial slur or name calling or stereotyping was done with the notion of insulting and make fun. From stuff like calling a black African American a “sub-Sudanese” to even mocking Filipinos, its all there.

You might be looking down at the films done by Cohen but for this one, its got some modern day sensibilities in it. It shows just how much paranoid America is, how racist and how egotistical they can be. John C. Reilly’s appearance while short was also “colorful” to say the least. I was actually impressed with Aladeen’s dialogue towards the ending where he publicly disses the democracy and America in general.

It’s not really just the Americans and other democratic countries that gets dissed in this picture. Even middle eastern stuff gets lampooned a lot in the film. Heck even nature lovers and the modern day “tree huggers” all get their share of aping. At the end of the day however its all just for fun.
Yes being that this is another Sacha Baron Cohen movie, you should definitely come into the movie theater armed with some guts and the stomach to survive some scenery. Without spoiling too much of the plot and the really good “bits” in the movie I can totally be honest about this and say that you should steel yourself.

The movie is rated R so you might want to bring the missus and just leave the kids at home.

I’m giving The Dictator a 3.5 out of 5 mainly because I really felt that Aladeen’s character could have been given added flesh. The humor is good considering that this is from the same guy who did that awful Bruno movie a couple of years back.

For this review, I’d also like to thank my new friends from SOLAR-UIP for the invitation as well as to the kind folks at the Gateway mall where the advance screening was held.

Originally posted in Thefanboyseo.com

Earl Maghirang