Sacha Baron Cohen is Aladeen, dictator of a small, fictional country in Northern Africa. He ends up in the US, where he is ousted by his brother (played by Ben Kingsley… seeing him in this makes me feel like the great have fallen) and an idiot body double. He has to rely on the kindness of a man he had executed (don’t ask) and a girl who is smart enough to have a large ecologically friendly co-op in New York yet is too stupid to run in efficiently or to tell this offensive creep to bugger off (Anna Ferris as the extremely offensive to all women character, Zoey).
Yup. I didn’t like it. I have memories of Ali G being an amazing television show, of going to the film of Borat and laughing (although I walked out of the cinema feeling that I’d watched something pretty crappy), but I have avoided Cohen’s more recent work. I watched this because I’d heard the review on Plato’s Cave (this is a RRR film criticism podcast which I thoroughly enjoy. I don’t always agree; sometimes I vehemently disagree, but I always like what they have to say) and Thomas Caldwell had said some surprisingly good things about it.
Perhaps I’m over poo, torture and rape jokes. Perhaps I just like humour that is clever (though I do love slapstick). Whatever. The Dictator did not even raise a smile from me.