Friday, 1 June 2012

The Dictator


Rating: ★★

So is the world ready to laugh at terrorism. Well I'm not.

So what is The Dictator? The Dictator, unlike the documentary-style Borat, is a full-blown comedy about an evil dictator called Aladeen, who risks his life to ensure that democracy will never come to the country he loves so much to oppress. Doesn't it sound heartwarming? In fact that was the main problem I had with The Dictator, I couldn't decide if the audience were meant to be booing Aladeen or cheering him on. He is egotistical and evil but he is also misunderstood and desperate for love. In one scene, where he almost commits suicide, the audience were obviously meant to feel sorry for him. I mean this is a Saddam Hussein-inspired ruthless dictator we're talking about here. I'm meant to find this funny?

In terms of comedy value I was also a little disappointed. A film like The Dictator, that has silly characters and a ridiculous plot, has to be absolutely hilarious to make up for what it lacks. A film based on such a serious subject has to have some clever comic scenes but The Dictator had next to none. On the other hand, I personally didn't find Borat very funny and the rest of the world did, so maybe I'm not the best person to judge how funny The Dictator is. One of the only scenes I really laughed at was one in which Aladeen and his friend are taking a helicopter ride over New York with two American tourists. The tourists hear Aladeen talking about 9-11 and freak out, even though he's actually talking about a type of car.

Borat was a massive success across the globe thanks to its incredibly funny way of uncovering how bad some Americans are at adapting to other cultures. Ever since, Sacha Baron Cohen has been trying to recapture the hilarious wittiness of his original smash hit. When his first attempt, Bruno, pulled in only half as much as Borat, I was surprised to see Hollywood give Sacha a second chance. Not only a second chance but a second chance with four times the budget of Borat. I was shocked.

As for the other cast, Ben Kingsley and Anna Faris are really just there to set up Sacha's punch lines. I found Megan Fox's cameo quite funny but I had already seen it in the trailer - along with most of the funny moments.

To conclude, I personally didn't enjoy The Dictator. I was cringing more than I was laughing. But if you liked Borat then you might like this new Sacha film because the only manor difference is the budget. Sorry Sacha. Please don't come in character to get me for this review! 




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