11 May 2012 1:57 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Sacha Baron Cohen delivers an explosion of weapons-grade offensiveness

After his live-ammo situationist spoofs Borat and Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen has returned to the world of the straight fiction-feature with his broad comedy satire The Dictator. There is one thing to be said straight away. This is not, repeat not, a cinephile homage to Chaplin's The Great Dictator.

It is less edgy than Baron Cohen's previous two films, featuring big, conventionally contrived gags and a colossal central turn from the man himself. Baron Cohen's Dictator is set to make Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau a model of subtlety and sensitivity.

The movie is in the fish-out-of-water tradition of Coming to America and many others. It doesn't, in truth, offer much of a twist on the genre. It does, however, deliver laughs and weapons-grade offensiveness.

Baron Cohen plays General Aladeen, the tyrannical ruler of the oil-rich north African rogue state Wadiya, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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