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2 and 1/2 out of 4 stars
This adult spoof centers around a North African dictator whose life is a comedy frolic. It includes insults to so many ethic groups that you can't keep count. Between all the nonsense and dribbles, there are some genuinely very funny scenes and lines sprinkled throughout. And with the film running at an hour and 23 minutes the producers got one thing dead right: Insulting the world doesn't take an enormous amount of time.
Here we have the dictator double-crossed by his brother who wants to line his pockets in turning the country into a democracy thus allowing the country's rich oil reserves to be siphoned off by American oil powers. Thus, it's time to travel to America with an idiot body double of the president. But alas, the plot is stopped and the dictator marries his New York love, though the marriage doesn't last long as she gets the "poor girl" annulment, if you get my drift.
Be sure to shave your arms and legs, ladies, before seeing this movie and don't think for one split second of bringing your kids.
-- Rick Wright, Auburn
0 out of 4 stars
The latest big screen effort from British actor-comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, "The Dictator" attempts to capitalize on the recent demise of tyrants such as Moammar Gadhafi and make a funny feature film. Trouble is, this "Dictator" should have been executed by firing squad before it ever hit the local cinemas.
"The Dictator" follows the downfall of Admiral-General Aladeen, the strongman of fictional Wadiya in North Africa, as he dodges one assassination attempt after another on his body doubles while he summarily executes any and all of his entourage for even the slightest of gaffes. Aladeen eventually makes it to New York, where the old fish-out-of-water routine begins as he tries to save his position.
You may have enjoyed Cohen's earlier forays into political satire such as "Borat." I personally like satire as a form of comedy. What I don't care for is the absolute crudeness and vulgarity that permeate Cohen's films. Where "Borat" at least hit a funny bone occasionally, "The Dictator" feels more like an extended enema. Cohen is a talented comedian, but his performance here was downright awful. The jokes were flat and contrived, at best. And to see the gifted Ben Kingsley sleepwalk through his role as Aladeen's long-suffering right-hand man made me cringe. Either Kingsley must be flat broke and needs a paycheck really badly, or else Cohen has some really incriminating pictures of him somewhere. I can't believe I paid good money to see this tripe.
-- Tim Weekley, Suwanee
2 out of 4 Stars
You have to be a special kind of person to enjoy Baron Cohen's summer comedy "The Dictator." If you enjoy his humor, you will laugh at the dictator's antics in New York. I didn't expect much and I was surprised that it wasn't as gross as "Borat."
This short political/comedy movie is all about the dictator's character. There was never a dull moment as he is replaced by a double while no one recognizes him without his beard. My funniest part of the movie was the NYC helicopter tour. You should see the faces of the couple sharing the helicopter while his cousin and him were talking in Arabic about crashing his 911 Porsche and commenting buying a replacement 2012 model 911.
-- Alfred Richner, Duluth