Friday, May 18, 2012
In Theaters: THE DICTATOR (2012)
Directed by Larry Charles. Written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer. Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Anna Faris, Jason Mantzoukas, Adeel Akhtar, John C. Reilly, Megan Fox, Kevin Corrigan, Fred Armisen, Kathryn Hahn, Seth Morris, J.B. Smoove, Chris Parnell. (R, 83 mins)
The jokes fly fast and furious in the latest outrageous comedy from fearless BORAT provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles. Baron Cohen, who co-wrote the script with veteran CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM writers Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer (also the team behind the 2004 cult comedy EUROTRIP), is Admiral General Aladeen, the supreme ruler of Wadiya, a fictional country in North Africa, just east of Sudan. A longtime champion of oppression (the film is dedicated "in loving memory of Kim Jong Il"), Aladeen finds himself sanctioned by the UN for his attempts at building a nuclear bomb and must head to NYC to address the United Nations. Aladeen is abducted by the head of his hotel security team (John C. Reilly), but manages to escape, but not before having his trademark beard cut off. Aladeen is now stuck in New York City and unrecognizable while his treacherous aide Tamir (Ben Kingsley) uses a dim-witted double (also Baron Cohen) to bring so-called "democracy" to Wadiya if only to appease the oil companies who will give him a huge payout (which Tamir will use to "buy a house next to George Clooney's") in exchange for control of the country's energy resources. Aladeen then meets and slowly falls for activist vegan food co-op manager Zoey (Anna Faris), who he first mistakes for a boy and then a "lesbian hobbit," and tries to outwit Tamir and regain his dictatorial control of Wadiya. But...will Zoey convince him to change his ways?