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I usually avoid movies I know will be explicit and include crude humor because it's just not my cup of tea. So, right off the bat I was expecting this movie to be absolutely horrible... I do not know if it was my low expectations before the screening, but I actually enjoyed this movie very much. In order to enjoy this movie, however, you do have to somewhat detach yourself from thinking too much into the wealth of racist and crude humor contained in the movie. Nevertheless, The Dictator is satire, it is a movie making fun of the real world, and if you let it be, it makes you aware (while laughing) at the racist thoughts and stereotypes ordinary people have everyday. Yes, it has its strange and explicit scenes, but overall, I think it has substance and it was very funny. Put your "Victorian" influences aside for a night and have a good laugh. Watch it.
I went to see this movie with my friend. I would consider that we both
have a good sense of humor and are open to all sorts of jokes. I have
seen other movies by Sacha Baron Cohen, like Bruno and Borat. I found
Borat to be hilarious, but Bruno was a bit over the top for me. This
movie strikes a balance between the two, but leans more towards (my
personally favored) Borat side.
The comedy in this movie is both hilarious and uncomfortable at times. It has the same LOL- quality as it did in Borat, but there are scenes where the comedy is so crude that it is almost uncomfortable watching/listening to it. The movie is definitely funny, but you will not enjoy it if you do not find jokes about racism and stereotypes funny.
The plot is your typical Sacha Baron Cohen plot; a person from an entirely different culture travels to America and you watch how incompatible the two cultures are. Also, just like most of Sacha Baron Cohen movies, there is a love story intertwined. It's not the dramatic and sensitive kind of love story though. The plot itself is not very immersive, and I believe that its only purpose is to lead you to the funny parts.
I will say this though, the ending speech of this movie given by 'The Dictator' really impressed me. It made me realize how well Sacha Baron Cohen understands politics and stereotypes. You have to hear it for yourself.
If you're looking for a movie with consistent but crude laugh-out-loud comedy, but do not look for a serious and powerful plot, then you will enjoy this film. On the other hand, if you cringe at racist and stereotype jokes, you will be covering your ears virtually the entire movie.
Approach with an open mind.
I'm a little perplexed having read a couple of user reviews - one of
them said this was movie was unbelievable and unconvincing due to the
fact that it had a love theme going on? huh? I suppose the film 'A
Nightmare on Elm Street' is unbelievable too? In fact, how many movies
are believable? 'The Dictator' is a comedy, nothing less and nothing
more than that, and that was the intention. Whether it's believable or
not is irrelevant. The movie had plenty of laugh out loud moments.
I'm glad this movie headed in a different direction from his previous efforts. Had the film continued in the same fashion as the reality TV way, then I don't think it would have stood any chance of working, not with this new character anyway. So to those who are expecting and hoping for something similar to Bruno and Borat you may be left a little disappointed, but for those who wouldn't mind seeing something slightly different, and can take a movie for what it is, then you should enjoy this, as I did.
The non-stop jokes, off-color humor, slapstick and under 90 minute
running time of "The Dictator" hearkens back to early Woody Allen gems
like "What's Up Tiger Lily," "Take The Money and Run," "Bananas," and
"Love and Death. And, in the world of comedy, that's quite a
Like Cohen, Allen's first films were often misunderstood. Some folks just did not get the joke. Many still don't get it today. The object of comedy has always been to take down the high and mighty by whatever means necessary. And, if you happen to be a Middle Eastern despot, you will find much to be offended by here. But, as Allen often did as well, Cohen uses racial and gender stereotypes to shine a light on people's attitudes, and that's likely to put off others as well. That's fine. Some comedy just isn't for everyone.
While his writing style owes much to Allen, his acting chops are also influenced heavily by one of Britain's greatest comics, Peter Sellers. You can see it in his outrageous accents and in his ridiculous pratfalls. Like Sellers, Cohen is fearless in his characterizations and, again, like Sellers, there will be those who will take offense in this. Again, not for everyone. But, if you laughed your butt off at Sellers' simpleton Indian character destroying a Hollywood party, you will be laughing here too.
And that's what we're talking about; laughs. Not every joke works. Many fall flat. But the film starts off fast and furious with a rapid succession of gags, most of which work hilariously, settles down for a bit and then takes off again, literally. His verbal sparring with co-star Jason Mantzoukas is one of the highlights as are many of the fun cameo appearances and a running joke about his name that I will not reveal here. There are many great sight gags that are easily missed and the appearance of his Efawadh character at the U.N. channels a scene right out of Allen's "Sleeper." There's a few scatological and sex jokes also (one about excrement, one about urination, one about masturbation, several about body parts), and these, if you ask me, are the low point of the film (except a child birth scene that's as funny as it is outrageous). But, the bodily fluid gags, so rampant in comedy films today, are actually few and far between. And there's a bit of a message, too.
We're not dealing with "Citizen Kane" here. But, then, this film made me laugh much more.
I wish there were more comedies like that - crossing over the political
correctness line, but not over the line of good taste, so as to make a
movie hard to watch.
The film is quite pointy, it is for a moderate audience and will make all kinds of extremists quite unhappy. The plot is well thought out and funny. It'll nail you to the screen.
I like the unorthodox character of this film, Sacha Baron Cohen's movies are definitely one of the kind. I wouldn't consider the humor crude, but it is certainly honest. Some of the unthinkable things you see are likely to have happened in reality.
Just been to see this film and could never stop laughing. Sacha Baron Cohen is a true comedic talent...an excellent writer as the jokes in it are genius. The film is short but packed full of laughter. Perhaps I'm an easy laugher, but what can I say, I liked it!!! A LOT!!! As well as the comedy being brilliant, the actual plot/storyline is superb also. From watching the trailer, and then watching the film, it was actually a completely different story to how I thought it was going to be. I wasn't very excited to see the film after the trailers, but decided to venture in... I enjoyed it much more than I expected and will likely see it again! It isn't for the easily-offended but if this is your sort of humor then you need to go and watch it now!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really cannot believe the reviews I am reading about this film, how
funny it is, an instant classics etc... Let me first begin by saying I
am a huge Sacha b Cohen fan, I love his stuff, Ali G, Borat & Bruno.
All hysterically funny, some what very unnerving to watch at times, but
that a massive part of the appeal... They were below the belt humor,
especially Bruno, that you really hadn't seen before and didn't know
how to react to it, which made it hysterical.
The dictator was non of that. It had brief funny bits in, that were really obvious as well, throughout the film. I was so disappointed as the trailer looked funny and being an avid fan could not wait for the release. But like i say, it wasn't, it was just obvious lets make quick money Hollywood nonsense that so many films seem to be these days.
I actually started to think, "is it me, am I getting too old for this sort of stuff?". I'm 48 and went to see the film with my 20 year old sons who also thought the film was rubbish!!
What is it with so many films these days that they seem to of lost all sense of character? I love a film, I love a good comedy, but I haven't seen anything decent in a long time because there always seems to be something missing or lacking from the the films these days. Has all the writers run out of ideas, or has everything just been done to death now?
Get your act together Sacha, you know your better than this Hollywood bulls**t, don't let those idiots ruin what and who you are!!
That's the truth right there pal, despite all the hype I bet you agree with my comments!!
One of the funniest movies I know! There are so many good jokes based on what's happening in the world. If you read the news on a daily basis and know what's going on in the world you'll like this movie. Some people may not like Cohen but I think he's a genius. It really takes something to show the problems that we have in a funny way. However you should really go and watch that movie, it's worth the money. I personally watched it twice in theater. Now I really don't know what to write anymore without giving away any jokes because the jokes come one after another. I was already laughing out loud after one minute. It's really cool if you watch a movie in theater and everyone in the room is laughing. So my definitive final conclusion is that The Dictator is more than a movie, it's an experience ;)
I saw a preview screening of this in London.
As expected from Sacha's previous outings and trailers, this film is in extremely bad taste with plenty of filth, blatant offence (disguised as naivety) of every race, gender, age, animal, disability, sexual orientations, terrorism and politics. Sacha gets away with it because no one is left out. No one, including white folks and straight men. Actually, I lie. I don't know how the hell he gets away with it. The important question is, though, is it funny? Yeah...mostly.
There are enough roll in the isle moments to make this worth the ticket but there are also plenty of misfired jokes too, some of which really makes you groan but that's to be expected for a relentless joke firing machine which incidentally has (perhaps mercifully) a short run time of 84mins.
Another burning question I ask myself, while watching this is do I feel guilty laughing at some of the offencive jokes? Yes I do, my guilty conscience raises its ugly head but then I realise (or perhaps I'm just making excuses) that I am laughing at the Dictator's naivety and hilarious sense of misplaced morality while others around him frown at his demeanours.
This is a departure from the Borat, Ali G, and Bruno stable. With those previous films, real people are sought after and ridiculed by scrutinising their reactions and moral bases. This film, however is purely fictitious, Naked Gun style comedy very much similar to Eddie Murphy's Coming to America with obviously a lot lot less subtlety. However, Sacha's Dictator has pretty much the same political correctness that Borat has but with more hilarious Dictatorship cravings such as executing anyone that annoys him.
A good supporting cast thankfully gives this zany film a little bit more variety, particularly Anna Francis, comically playing off the Dictator's character who frankly dominates almost every frame (as I guess a dictator would). John C Reilly also gives a short but hilarious turn. And then there are a few special cameo celebrity guest appearances (or victims, rather) sprinkled around.
There are a couple of moments political satire that stands out in hilarity and I wish there was more of it. Alas, it seems vulgarity is more favoured.
So if you have no guilty conscience, welcome vulgarity and all things "un-pc" with open arms, do not despise Sacha Cohen Baron and are willing to kiss his armpits (last one is optional), then I reckon you will enjoy this film. For me, filthy films are not my normal cup of tea, nevertheless I did enjoy this but I need a long shower after watching it.
General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen)
the harsh dictator of the fake
country of Wadiya, claims the world's worst political figures as best
friends, admits that the real Bin Laden is currently living in his
guest house, and has no problem calling for the execution of anyone who
mildly inconveniences him. General Aladeen makes his way to America to
defend himself to the United Nations about his pursuit to construct
weapons of mass destruction, but ends up running for his life on the
streets of New York after an attempted assassination against his life
The premise sounds like a winner in the current political world, yet the actual product doesn't live up to the hype of Cohen's reputation. Cohen became a comedic force with his gut busting Borat in 2006 and added to his legacy with 2009's Bruno. His comedic style works best when it's natural, and those around him aren't in on the joke. The Dictator sadly comes across as the exact opposite. It felt staged, scripted, forced and worst of all it wasn't very funny.
The talented cast of Ben Kingsley and John C. Reilly are severely underused, and a pathetic attempt at a love story between the general and the kind of woman he has despised his entire life, a politically correct hippy owner of an organic world market (played by Anna Faris) only plays as weak writing.
There are a few laughs to be had, probably the biggest being the montage of the general learning how to self gratify himself intercut with footage of majestic bald eagles soaring through the air. Cohen's hilarious rendition of Dr. Dre's 'The Next Episode' with the general singing "Aladeen motherfuc%er!" will find itself on more than a few Ipod playlist.
I'm also sure a few of the movie's lines will be quoted by adolescent middle school aged boys and douchebag frat dudes alike, but for the most part The Dictator is a major dud, and a huge step back from Cohen's previous films. It left me longing for the days of Borat offending the world one rodeo at a time.
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