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R
| | 1 hr 23 min | Comedy

Sacha Baron Cohen is back. In the movie The Dictator, he plays a despot named General Aladeen, who rules over the country Wadiya, located somewhere in the North African region. Unlike his previous spoof movies Borat and then Bruno, this movie has Cohen performing a straight fiction-feature. Compared to his two previous movies, Cohen's fans will find his performance less edgy than expected, but definitely still Cohen's style of humor. The story line is laid out similar to many past movies of immigrants coming to America, but with its own unique twist of humor that Cohen is now famous for. For this kind of genre movie, it lacks any new twist, but the movie does make up for it by delivering some serious laughs at General Aladeen's expense.

The movie begins with the tyrannical ruler of the rogue state intensely irritated by the western countries total infatuation with the Arab spring uprisings. General Aladeen's frustration is further aggravated by having to shelter Osama Bin Laden in one of his Palace's spare rooms after his double was assassinated by the Americans.

In the General's attempts to insidiously erode the moral sense of his nation's people, Aladeen abolishes certain words from his country's dictionary. The words "positive" and "negative" have been replaced by with the name "Aladeen" which then leads to many tense moments for his subjects. One particular awkwardly funny scene takes place in a Wadiya HIV clinic. A doctor is telling the HIV test results to an anxious and nervous patient and says "Aladeen." Not knowing if the test results are positive or negative, the patient hilariously stares at the doctor and then transforms his reaction every time he says "Aladeen," in hopes of getting a reaction.

Meanwhile, the general's confrontation with Washington has reached a crisis level when he announces to a corralled crowd that Wadiya was close to enriching uranium for peaceful purposes. During his speech, Aladeen continues to giggle and laugh under his breath every time he would say enriching uranium for "peaceful purposes." Aladeen has an argument with his main nuclear scientist over the slow progress of the nuclear program, and over the size and shape of the warhead delivery system. The general then orders the scientist to be eliminated when he loses the argument.

As tension between America grows, Aladeen is forced to go to America to explain his country's nuclear program to the UN. While there, Aladeen is shocked in many ways by the exotic world of America. But, while there, the general's treasonous brother replaces him with a brainless imposter and Aladeen finds himself penniless and anonymous in New York. The story continues to play out with hilariously, with Aladeen struggling to adapt to regular life working in a vegetarian café run by a feminist manager, Anna Faris. And, an awkward attraction between the two ensues.

The movie provides many hilariously shocking scenes that appeal to Cohen's fans but most regular movie goers may find the movie relentlessly immature at best. But, in all fairness, The Dictator was more funny than not, and Sacha had remained consistent to his style of humor, to his fans delight.

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Stars
Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Sayed Badreya, Jason Mantzoukas
Director
Larry Charles
Language
English
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