Movie review: Crude humor has no boundaries in Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘The Dictator’

By Ron Miles

The Lantern, Ohio State U. via UWIRE

Movie review: Crude humor has no boundaries in Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘The Dictator’

The comedy style of Sacha Baron Cohen is rare even in the odd world that exists today. His crude humor leaves no targets untouched, including all races, religions, ethnicities, genders and anything else I failed to mention. Therefore, if you’re offended by jokes being thrown in these directions, you should probably read up on “The Bachelorette” instead of this.

“The Dictator,” Cohen’s latest film scheduled for release nationwide Wednesday, marks the third major movie Cohen has had a hand in writing, producing and starring in. The film documents Admiral General Aladeen (Cohen), who is the supreme leader of Wadiya, a fictional, oil-immersed country in North Africa. A man who has made his life’s goal to keep Wadiya under his dictatorship, Aladeen has obtained everything he has hoped for, except a heavy arsenal of nuclear weapons and love.

After announcing that Wadiya was on the brink of obtaining nuclear capabilities, Aladeen is summoned to the United Nations. After a string of events, he is left stranded to fend for himself in the streets of New York City, and replaced with Wadiya’s second in command, Tamir (Ben Kingsley), who has an agenda of his own.

With his trademark beard shaved off his face, Aladeen goes unnoticed throughout New York City, and is forced to begin a job working for Zoey (Anna Faris) at her extremely liberal organic health food shop. Their two worlds awkwardly collide as Aladeen works to regain power of his country while helping Zoey with her store along the way.

Compared to Cohen’s other two films, “Borat” and “Bruno,” “The Dictator” serves by far as the most traditional film. It has a much more evident plot line that remains consistent from start to finish. Of course, no Cohen film is complete without the attempts of hard-core humor.

As is expected of Cohen, he did an effective job when it came to poking fun at some modern issues and dilemmas faced in the news.

Overall, it was crude, it was disgusting and it was downright wrong. I’m guessing that is why a full house at the Gateway Film Center, myself included, couldn’t stop laughing for 75 minutes.

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