The Dictator (2012)

General Aladeen in convincing disguise as an American tourist.

‘When Harry Kidnapped Sally’, ‘You’ve Got Mailbomb!’, and ‘Planet Of The Rapes’. All classic films from the tiny North African country of Wadiya. And now we have The Dictator, which stars Sacha Baron Cohen as General Aladeen –  the leader-tyrant of that nation. He enjoys supreme power at home but things don’t go to plan when he travels to America in order to address the UN. A coup by his evil uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) means he is replaced in power by his idiot body double and Aladeen himself ends up working unrecognised in a vegan food store.

This is what comedy should be : fresh, edgy, incisive, nothing out of bounds and politically incorrect – although it does at times fall into the same trap Bruno (a previous Baron Cohen film) did – where it’s just outrageous for the sake of it, even when it is not funny. In fact with a little better quality control on what jokes are funny and which are lame (yes there are a few) this could have been even better. Very funny at times and definitely worth watching. 6/10


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