When it comes to Sacha Baron Cohen (or SBC as he will be know known in
this review, since his name is such a long process to write out…well
for me it is.)…I feel people are either in two camps.
Camp A: “GIVE ME YOUR TEARS GYPSY!~” aka the ever-loving joy of Borat
and Borat catchphrases.
Camp B: … WHAT THE FUCK? This isn’t Borat!
I’m in that small Camp C category of where I loved Borat (and hated
the immediate backlash of people quoting the movie nonstop like this
ages Austin Powers), but also feel that SBC is more than just a
parody. My favorite role that I have seen SBC in is in the amazing
Martin Scorsese film, Hugo.
Here SBC gets a French accent to play with, but his character is a train station security guard who is in love with the local flower girl. He plays it beautifully, both with humor and tragedy for his handicapped leg.
…The Dictator is nothing like Hugo. [/understatementofcentury]
But thank god it is even less like the horrible Bruno that SBC
misfired with a few years back. Dictator does what worked with Borat
in terms of jokes and uses it in a narrative setting. I personally
feel that Jason Mantzoukas steals the film when he is on screen, for both honesty
towards SBC’s General Aladeen character and just because I’m a big fan of
Jason Mantzoukas’ work on The League.
The film is basically 87% racist jokes against everyone under the sun
and that works when its coming from SBC, I don’t know if anyone else
could truly pull off the jokes that are said in this film besides him.
The story is simple, almost a color by numbers film, where SBC just
gets the opportunity to add in his jokes to the scenarios.
While this movie doesn’t rank high like Borat, nor does it fail like
Bruno, The Dictator is in that happy middle, where most of the jokes
land and the ones that don’t, are quickly forgotten by another jokes
only a few moments after that hits big. If your a fan of SBC, then you
will love it…if you don’t like anything he has ever done…then don’t
go, because you might be angry to be laughing at some of the jokes you
thought you wouldn’t like.
I give it a SEVEN out of TEN, on the merit of film quality and comedy.
But I also give it a TRASH CAN INTO CAB out of TEN, for how badly that simple gag made me laugh so hard and for so long.