The Dictator

00:00 May 30, 2012
By: David Vicari
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[Courtesy of Paramount Pictures]

is disgusting and offensive, yet it is often very funny because of it. Sacha Baron Cohen plays General Aladeen, a ruthless North African dictator who refuses to bring democracy to his country. During a United Nations gathering in New York, Aladeen escapes an assassination attempt on his life only to find his identity stolen and himself homeless on the city streets. He is soon taken in by hippie activist Zoey (Anna Faris). This political and social satire is slightly more scripted than the previous two stunt comedies—Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Brüno —Baron Cohen has done with director Larry Charles, thus making it a little less spontaneous. But like those films, the low-brow gags are hit or miss. The Dictator mostly hits, but there are uncomfortable moments, like the helicopter ride where Aladeen mentions "911" among other things and is mistaken as a terrorist. However, you have to give it to Baron Cohen for being so aggressively and comically subversive.

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