The Dictator

Release Date: May 16, 2012

He requires his outfit to match the furniture.

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Position Staff In Brief
129/169 Max Braden The double was funnier than the dictator, and some of his insults were funny, but this pales in comparison to Cohen's better work.

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Sacha Baron Cohen was very briefly the toast of the town in 2006. First, he portrayed the villain in the blockbuster Will Ferrell movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. He followed this up with the theatrical adaptation of a character from his HBO series, Da Ali G Show. That character, Borat, became an international sensation, earning $261.6 million worldwide. It also become a fraternity row staple, cementing Cohen as the It Comedian of the moment.

In 2009, Cohen returned with Bruno. Need I say more? The movie was reviled, and people across the world loudly and repeatedly stated that they were very, very tired of Cohen, a button pusher whose humor fails more often than it triumphs. Over the next couple of years, he resigned himself to countless hours of sex with fellow movie star Isla Fisher, whom he married in 2010. In late 2011, Cohen began his comeback with Hugo, the Martin Scorsese movie where the comedian was cast as an antagonist, albeit a likable one pining over a beautiful woman at the train station.

In 2012, Cohen once again stars in a bawdy comedy featuring a somewhat offensive theme. He’s predictable in this regard. The premise this time is that Cohen portrays Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen, leader of Wadiya. The violent and unpredictable leader of his people is invited to visit America, where his life is turned upside down when a calculating hitman shaves his beard and throws him out among the masses of the New York City populace.

Broke and unrecognizable, Aladeen becomes the star of a sort of modern day Coming to America, a ruler who is lost in the anonymity of a massive urban locale. Fortunately, he meets a plucky young American named Zoey (Anna Faris) who joins him in his adventures through the streets of the Big Apple.

The trailers promise a no holds barred comedy where The Dictator starts as a thoroughly dislikable despot. True love presumably humanizes him, which means the movie will take a turn toward romantic comedy once Fair appears. The commercials are quite funny but given how many bridges Cohen has burned, The Dictator is far from a sure thing at the box office. This is either the latest step toward redemption for him or further proof that his popularity in 2006 was a fluke. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Dictator
Main Cast Sacha Baron Cohen
Supporting Cast Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Megan Fox, John C. Reilly, JB Smoove
Director Larry Charles
Screenwriter Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, David Mandel
Distributor Paramount Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 83 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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