This week’s film review: The Dictator

EVER since Sasha Baron Cohen, in his latest incarnation as General Aladeen, tipped Kim Jong Il’s ashes over an unsuspecting Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars, the world has been waiting to see if The Dictator lives up to the adorably camp Bruno, or the impossibly ignorant Borat.

FILM

The Dictator

Cert. 15

2/5 stars


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EVER since Sasha Baron Cohen, in his latest incarnation as General Aladeen, tipped Kim Jong Il’s ashes over an unsuspecting Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars, the world has been waiting to see if The Dictator lives up to the adorably camp Bruno, or the impossibly ignorant Borat.

Well, sadly, The Dictator comes up short when compared to his previous laugh-a-minute cinematic offerings.

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The character is limited in terms of where humour can be found, with Cohen alternating between hammy sexism and flippant violence.

However, his on-screen partner, Ana Faris, veers off from her usual dichotomy of blonde bombshell with brash male humour, playing unshaven vegan caterer, Zoey, who is determined to find some compassion in the once globally feared Aladeen.

Ben Kingsley steers the plot as the General’s right-hand-man, Tamir, who seems to have had a hand in dethroning the rogue Libyan leader in order to bring democracy to the oppressed country.

But are Tamir’s intentions entirely honourable, or could the terrified citizens have been better off with the sexist, xenophobic, megalomaniac Aladeen?

Has the General learnt anything about democracy and acceptance since Zoey took him in, or will he go back to his old ways once he’s back in power?

Watch out for an almost unbearable birthing scene and Cohen’s similarly unbearable accent.

Ashley Whittaker

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