Sunday, May 20, 2012
Heading in to watch The Dictator, I didn't quite know what to expect. Although many people love Sasha Baron Cohen's other films, my movie knowledge falls short of ever having watched either Bruno or Borat. I had a feeling that this movie was going to have more of a direct storyline and be more movie-like compared to Borat and Bruno, which were just him being in character and doing random, stupid crap (from what I have heard). Personally, I like that structured feel of a movie, so long as it isn't too predictable. Since seeing the Super Bowl ad, I have been waiting to watch The Dictator with great patience, and, while I wasn't too confident in it, I did believe that this film had the potential to be one of the funniest comedies of 2012...
I must say that the storyline was both random and structured. There was certainly a plot, but Cohen's random, stupid crap made it's way into the film with ease. The butt of the movie's jokes mostly revolved around either racist or political themes, which opened the door for many hilarious one-liners. However, the plot itself was funny and contained a few elements that only someone as goofy as Cohen could pull off. The biggest problem was that the movie, from beginning to end, had absolutely no twists or turns. It would have been so much better if Aladeen (Cohen) ended up nuking America or something in the end. I wanted to see how far his crazed power could take his hilarity, but I felt like that film structure turned out to be too predictable for this character to really shine.
As expected, Sasha Baron Cohen's Aladeen was in basically every scene of the entire film, and I had no problem with it. I only wish that I could dream up a character as crazy and genius as Aladeen. Cohen did his thing quite well, and I have a great amount of respect for him. Zoey, played by Anna Farris, wasn't that great of a character, but her occupation and beliefs made for many interesting moments. She suffered from the fact that the idea of her character was more important than the character herself (if that makes any sense). Many big actors made small appearances in the film, such as Edward Norton, Megan Fox, and John C. Reilly. There is no doubt that these small appearances made for some funny moments. Aside from these roles, however, there were very few major character, which was certainly very different.
Aladeen Character: Aladeen
Aladeen Character: Aladeen
(You will understand after you watch.)
While I won't be rushing out to buy The Dictator on DVD, I am very glad that I watched it, and it is safe to say that, so far, this is one of the better comedies of 2012 (the year is still very, very young). There were many hilarious one-liners and a few really funny scenes, which usually make for a good comedy, as long as the plot is good. I do wish, however, that the film would have been a little more extreme. Did it deserve an R rating? Heck yeah! But there could have been a more extreme and unrealistic feel to the movie, due to the extreme and unrealistic idea. If you want to see a good comedy, you are probably going to have to wait a while, so I would go check this one out. Also, make sure you pay attention to the American-turned-Arabianish music. That was probably my favorite thing about the whole film. I give The Dictator 2.82 out of 5 stars.