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Ten Word or Less Review: An Adam Sandler movie wearing a beard.

It’s been six years sine Sasha Baron Cohen stormed the beaches of American comedy with Borat.  That unexpected comedic gem put Cohen squarely in the middle of cinemas top comedians.  Expectations for long term greatness were considerably deflated three years later with Bruno, an endevour I still haven’t seen and don’t really plan to.  Now comes The Dictator and expectations for Cohen’s future output seem absolutely abysmal.  A misbegotten satire of epic magnitude, The Dictator feels like a retarded Adam Sandler vehicle with offensive, unfunny jokes slathered all over the typically sophomoric plot.  As Cohen’s first foray into purely narrative movie making, it’s a fucking disaster.

Aladeen is the dictator of Wadiya, a fictional Middle Eastern country meant to mimic such cuddly nations as Iran and Afghanistan.  Not only is Aladeen a blood thirsty tyrant, he’s a lonely moron to boot.  Adoring his bedroom walls are Poloroids of thousands of celebrities he’s paid to have sex with over the years.  Lindsey Lohan.  Oprah.  Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The joke really makes no sense.  Megan Fox bears the brunt of this comedic jab in person but she’s as unfunny as she always is.  Aladeen has people shot on the slightest whim.  He has obscene statues and paintings of himself everywhere.  He wants nuclear weapons for destroying Israel but insist they be pointy.  As this nuclear situation escalates Aladeen goes to New York to address the United Nations but his underhanded secretary, Ben Kingley taking a paycheck, tries to have him killed and replaced, using a goat lusting mountain hillbilly as a double.  The arrogant Aladeen finds himself on the streets of New York penniless and powerless.  He’s taken pity on by an Earth loving, organic grocery store owner with hairy armpits (Anna Farris) who mistakes him for a political refugee.  I’m already bored regurgitating this.  The Dictator sucks.

Cohen has no skill for more traditional movie comedy.  He ignores the fundamental necessities a comedy like this requires, first being that we actually like some of the characters.  His Aladeen is meant to be endearing despite his racist and ignorant nature but he’s just a moronic jerk who spews bad jokes for shock factor.  I’m not against jokes in poor taste but Dictator  doesn’t know when to quit.  Aladeen raped all the members of Menudo and some of them committed suicide because of it?  Ha ha.  Anna Farris can do nothing but play clueless here trapped in crap like this.  It’s another proto-typical comedy which requires a supposedly intelligent woman to act like a blind dolt for the sake of the story.  Cohen runs jokes into the ground ruthlessly and redundantly.  Seemingly never tiring of a gag which he can’t exploit well past the breaking point.

Nothing in this movie works on any level.  The few jokes that do work seem like accidents.  The term ‘lesbian hobbit’ invoked a chuckle.  But otherwise it’s a complete waste.  The satire is obvious.  The comedy is painfully flat.  The story is rickety and dull.  This is a joyless comedy and if it’s all Cohen can produce, it’s time for him to pack it up and set sail.  We have enough morons making movies like this, he need not add himself to the list.


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