Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Dictator review

There are films out there that you desperately hope to hate wholeheartedly for their rude humor and offensive nature, but, against all will and sense, you end up liking it. 'The Dictator' is one of those films.

'The Dictator' centres on the character of Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen), an egotistical and offensive dictator of the oil-rich African republic of Wadiya who is desperate to remain in charge of Wadiya, much to the dismay of Uncle and rightful heir Tamir (Ben Kingsley). Aladeen has to travel to America on UN's orders after they threaten to take military action on Wadiya, on the account that its leader has been making nuclear weapons. Whilst in America, Tamir hires a hitman to kill Aladeen. The hitman only manages to cut off Aladeen's beard before he manages to escape. Without his beard, no-one recognises the political leader, exposing him into a world of work, vegan food and masturbation before he attempts to reclaim his position as leader.

Obviously, the plot isn't overly complex, and the phrase 'character development' does not apply to this movie, but one thing that impressed me were some of the insightful political jokes and their relevance to our generation (his speech towards the very end of the movie about America's similarities to a dictatorship were spot on). Of course, it goes without saying that these jokes are often offensive, but it still doesn't take away from Cohen's skills as a writer to manage to merge political relevance and comical elements to create something that engages audiences that get bored incredibly quickly.

'The Dictator' isn't the kind of film that you can analyse in depth (after all, it is just a fun piece of escapism) so I'll keep this review short. If you don't get offended easily and you liked Cohen's past movies, go see it. If however, you take offense to lines such as "Are you having a boy or an abortion?", I recommend you give this one a miss.