I am not quite sure how to explain how I feel about the movie The Dictator. To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the movie and laughed a lot…and I mean A LOT. But I feel like that makes me seem like a horrible, insensitive person. Why? Because most of the jokes were vulgar and insensitive. After all, this is a Sasha Baron Cohen movie. His previous film roles include the infamous Borat and the not so great Bruno. To this day I still hear people quoting Borat lines. In both of those films, Cohen played two of his alter-egos from his television show. Both movies were mockumentaries. The Dictator, however, goes a different route.
Cohen is all about his controversial characters. He is an equal opportunity offender. No concept, person, or event is safe from ridicule. In The Dictator, this remains true. This film is more of a Hollywood big budget film with a script (and a plot! Go figure.) than his previous ones. He seems to be is moving up in the world. It is a parody based on various dictators and the film is dripping with political satire. Cohen plays the tyrannical dictator of the country of Wadiya in the Middle East. He is not the smartest dictator, nor the most forgiving. He chooses to execute people on a whim and says all of the racist and sexist comments that are on his mind. Most of the comments are crude and you cannot believe he actually went there…but then you still laugh. I wanted to cover my mouth for laughing at such ridiculous and politically incorrect comments, but when I looked around I saw that everyone else was laughing too. So maybe it was okay? I mean, if everyone else is going to jump off the bridge I might as well too…
I was quite surprised by the large number of celebrity cameos in the film. Anna Farris plays a large role as an earth-loving, hairy armpit hippie. Ben Kingsley, John C. Reilly, Megan Fox, and Chris Parnell also appear in the film.
The movie has a beyond simple plot, but if you’re going to see The Dictator, you’re not really looking for complexity. You want to go to laugh. If you’re not bothered by off-color remarks against women, Israel, 9/11 and Osama bin Laden (to name a few), then you won’t be bothered by this film. It is not, however, for those who are squeamish about . It will only make you upset and frustrated. Cohen came as a guest on a lot of talk shows to create promotional buzz for the film. If you are unsure if the movie is something you will enjoy, check out some of his video clips first. That should give you a good idea of what you’re in for!