NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

The Dictator Movie Review

By     get stories by email

Ambushing human targets for sport in the service of Sacha Baron Cohen's own radically distinct brand of comedy in movies like Borat and Bruno may be his preferred weapon of choice, whether on or off camera. But in the daring UK shock maven's latest venture in provocative silliness with The Dictator, it's the audience itself that seems to have been more on his political bait-and-switch mischievous mind.

In a kind of rowdy Prince And The Pauper contemporary knockoff, Cohen has cast himself as both General Aladeen, the tyrannical Middle Eastern dictator in question, and his body double decoy inducted to deflect assassinations. But internal subterfuge rears its conspiratorial head when Aladeen's conniving brother Tamir (Ben Kingsley) schemes to eliminate him during a visit to the UN, in order to seal a lucrative secret deal with foreign oil interests. And instead of confronting an enraged international community at the UN in session - high on the Arab spring and taking issue with Aladeen's adamant resistance to democracy - the unfathomably cuddle-deprived jaded stud finds himself fleeing for his life somewhere in Brooklyn.

dic
Photo: www.rottentomatoes.com

And cluelessly unaware that she's just rescued Aladeen from imminent danger, is feminist vegetarian grocer Zoey (Anna Faris), presiding over a store staffed by immigrants 'of all and no genders.' Where the goofy general, it goes without saying, proceeds to violate all existing cultural norms by inadvertently mocking and demeaning everyone, especially women. In particular Zoey, whose short hair and grungy attire, lead Aladeen to repeatedly mistake her for a boy. Though his sexually ambivalent reaction to her unshaven armpits, may be an entirely different matter.

In any case, Cohen and director Larry Charles dictate the ludicrous course of events with no mercy for any side of the political spectrum. In particular during an outrageous final showdown at the UN, where Aladeen's denunciation of democracy in favor of dictatorship that celebrates the triumph of the One Percent, makes its point as a playfully satirical nod to any possible OWS spectators in the audience.

The Dictator is nothing less than culture-clash wicked fun, even if derailing at times with Cohen's trademark tendency toward extremes in a fondness for lewd bad behavior on screen. Making it pretty difficult to fault this lanky Michael Moore with bushy beard and bawdy banter when, for instance, pegging those pricey New York luxury hotels with their twenty dollar a day Wi-Fi fees, as the real international criminals.

Paramount Pictures
Rated R
3 stars

Trailer of The Dictator:

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

And 'how the art world stopped thinking about inequality and learned to love the bling.'
Kevin James talks to Kam Williams about his role in the Paul Blart: Mall Cop sequel
Freida Pinto, born in Mumbai, India, showed an interest in acting early on, participating in community theater and school productions.
Romance, war, adventure, vengeance are some of the common themes for the new DVD releases of the week. The King of Masks and Like Sunday, Like Rain are two.
A schoolgirl humiliated by a classmate takes a humiliating revenge in return, then comes up with the idea of forming The Sisterhood, secret society for girls.
When August asks Signe if the slaying on a video is real, she says, None of your business! That piques his curiosity, and he slowly sinks deeper into a quagmire.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site