SideReel Review - The Dictator starring Sacha Baron Cohen by Yael Tygiel

The Dictator (2012)

According to IMDB the summary, The Dictator (2012) is "The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed". (Aside from the heroic part) that is exactly what Sacha Baron Cohen's film is about: Sacha plays Admiral General Aladeen, leader of Wadiya, who comes to NYC to address the UN. While in NYC, his second-in-command/uncle/ rightful heir to the Wadiyan throne, Tamir, plots to have him assassinated and replaced by an easily manipulated look-a-like substitute (also played by Sacha Baron Cohen). 

Of course, Tamir's plan goes awry and Aladeen flees, unrecognizably beardless, in the big city. Long story short, Aladeen meets, and eventually falls in love with, super-leftist, feminist, organic grocery co-op owner Zoey (Anna Faris). Hilarity ensues. 

Brace yourself for 9/11 jokes and just a bit of penis, because The Dictator, as with Borat and Bruno, dives into the territory of politics, social stereotypes, and comedy. Only this time it's completely scripted, instead of taking an "ignorant foreigner" to the streets to mingle with the masses, Sacha leads an ensemble cast of every slightly darker skinned actor in Hollywood (Sayed Badreya, Aasif Mandvi, Rizwan Manji, Jason Mantzoukas) in a thoroughly mapped out love-story. 

The Dictator is rated R and is now playing in theaters everywhere.

-Yael Tygiel


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