Guilty Pleasure Found in ‘The Dictator’

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures Sasha Baron as “The Dictator.”
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Sasha Baron as “The Dictator.”


“Borat” was funny. It was uncouth, shocking, offensive and funny. Then came “Brüno,” a movie in the same style and vein of Sasha Baron Cohen’s first film. But “Brüno” went further. He was more comfortable with awkwardness, with pushing people’s buttons, and with on screen nudity. Now we have “The Dictator.” A more refined effort with a better plot and storytelling style and devices, but still offensive and funny. And on this one, he cranks it to 11.

Cohen stars as Admiral General Aladeen, dictator of the north African country of Wadiya. He oppresses the populace and executes anyone who defies him. But the one thing he is missing is someone to share his life with.

When he is called to America to speak to the U.N., the admiral general is kidnapped and replaced. Without looking like himself, he is released into Manhattan to try and survive the way a regular, free American citizen does.

This is a funny movie. Let me say that first. It is very funny. I laughed till it hurt. One guy in front of us threw up because he laughed so hard – that is how funny this is. But that being said, it is very offensive. I am a young, white, Christian male. Not much offends me. But this did.

I laughed, but as the realization set in at what I was laughing at, I knew that it was just inappropriate.

Those who are sensitive to any jokes, whether in that societal group or not, will be offended. At the same time, some of those that Cohen offends are just Americans in general, mocking our way of life and what we allow to happen in our country. That is fantastic. The societal satire that he makes with this film is great. But on some things, he just goes too far.

All things considered, if you have a thick skin, go see “The Dictator.” It is nice to see the idea that began in “Borat” finally realized as best it can be. The idea has grown up and is now a fairly decent movie.

I give this film 3 out of 5.