- Sacha Baron Cohen
Eager as I was to see the newest Sacha Baron Cohen installment, I left the theater with a bit of buyer’s remorse. While it was as funny as expected, this fan was not impressed with the lackluster storyline and strange series of unnecessary extra scenes. Featuring a stellar cast, with brilliant celebrity cameos throughout, the always hilarious Larry Charles delivered an unnaturally disappointing film. For every gut busting moment, there was an equally strange moment that left me thinking, “what the…”
Sacha Baron Cohen’s Done It Again!
Admiral General Hafez Aladeen, the ruthless dictator of Wadiya unafraid to execute a man for something as silly as finding the toy in a cereal box, is delightful to watch, but sometimes slightly disturbing. Cohen created another character that we’ll all be quoting until the end of time. The Dictator has announced that his country has perfected nuclear weapons which has set the entire world on edge. The United Nations sets up a meeting in New York City to talk to General Aladeen, if he fails to comply, they will take military action against his country. With no choice but to go, Aladeen makes his way to the Big Apple and once “safely” in his hotel room he gets kidnapped. The intention is to kill him, but a hilarious exchange occurs that I won’t spoil for you, and Aladeen ends up beardless and alone in the city. He soon finds out he has been replaced by a double and his dictatorship is being turned into a democracy. Often confusing, Cohen takes us on his journey to get his country back in efforts to prevent a dreaded democratic takeover.
Music by Erran Baron Cohen
I will say, the music was phenomenal. Erran Baron Cohen, Sacha’s older brother, composed the score for this movie and nailed it. Taking a lot of American pop music and substituting lyrics with Aladeen references, and making me bust out in laughter more often than the actual plot. Paired perfectly with the action on screen and cueing in at the best places, Erran, who performed most of the numbers himself, created a thriving atmosphere for Cohen. The songs played an important role in the film and followed the storyline in a very comical way. My friends and I were caught off guard sometimes by the lyrics because the music would be completely the same, and we wouldn’t notice until we actually started paying attention. The soundtrack was released by Aladeen records on May 8th, and is available for purchase.
Jeffrey Kurland, who did the costume design for Inception, Oceans 11, Law Abiding Citizen, among others, was the designer for this flick. Cohen’s costumes were hysterical, and over the top, just like the character. His first outfit after the de-bearding is perfect, and made me giggle throughout the few scenes he was in it. The other characters were all dressed very normal, which is hard to do. Anna Faris was perfectly adorable and looked like she was taken right out of a protest on Wall Street. It seemed as if each character had truly dressed themselves, which I’m quite fond of in movies.
Obviously Sacha Baron Cohen and Anna Faris were the two main characters, but Ben Kingsley, and John C. Reilly were two other big names on the ticket. With many celebrity cameos peppered in, I would’ve hoped for a better movie. Everyone was extremely comedic and entertaining, but there wasn’t much emphasis on the storyline and a lot of the characters were extraneous and could’ve been cut without affecting the actual plot. Each role was wonderfully cast; had The Dictator been a better movie idea to begin with it would’ve been great.
A Lackluster Plot:
This movie’s progress of plot was pretty terrible. Most of the funny scenes weren’t needed and failed to support the plotline. Certain moments took up a lot of screen time, taking audiences away from the story. I was often left thinking, “how did we end up getting here?” and “what is going on in this movie?” The Dictator was filled with an awful lot fluff with irrelevant scenes and excessively long periods of conversation that lead nowhere. The only thing this flop had going for it was how funny the cast was, they truly saved the day. Seeming more like a movie that was cut out of order, I kept waiting for the big climax to occur, but instead they kept teasing us with the conclusions of many of the subplots that were going on.
Overall Score: 3.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars
‘The Dictator’ Movie Trailer