The Dictator was the choice of film to watch this weekend and having been a big fan of Ali G In Da House and Borat I was really looking forward to it. I know that Baron Cohen is not everyone's cup of tea and his humour is not to everyone's liking, but his films, especially Borat, have been the only films that have caused me to laugh hysterically in the cinema. Due to this I was expecting big things from The Dictator but compared to his previous films this doesn't quite hit the same mark.
The film still has plenty of humour. I was laughing during it just not quite as hard as I was hoping to. One of the problems with this is that they show some of the best bits in the trailers. The scene with General Admiral Aladeen flying in the helicopter talking about the glorious sight of New York City in their language, confusing other passengers believing they are terrorists, is one of the best bits but would have been better if it wasn't put in all the trailers. There were other very funny moments and they include childbirth, masturbation, zip wiring, and made up names which are all fairly original and a lot of fun but other than these few bits the laughs are few and far between.
Not that I was expecting much of a story but the plot of this film is very weak. It feels as if they have come up with some good jokes and the funniest thread they could tie them together with is of a Dictator losing his beard in New York. The weak plot follows the General Admiral attempting to outdo his Uncle who has replaced him with a double in order to manipulate the country into how he wants it to be. It is difficult to follow the hero who is a Dictator attempting to do the wrong thing, it is a good job this film is taken with a pinch of salt then.
The love angle of the film is rather pointless and the set up is obvious from the get go. Anna Faris role isn't particularly big and she is a passenger on Sacha Baron Cohen's train. The film is all about him really. All the jokes evolve around him and due to them being scripted this time they don't have the same impact as what Borat or Bruno did. There are moments you will continue to quote but don't expect to be too shocked by it all. It is offensive but not as out there as the previous outings.
The film is average, and other comedies already released this year are much better. Borat is a much better comedy and on initial viewing Bruno is funnier due to the shock value of it, although over time I think The Dictator will surpass it on the comedy stakes. Baron Cohen has given himself a lot to live up to and despite The Dictator having some good laughs it doesn't reach up to his usual standard.
Pros: Some very funny moments.
Cons: Those moments don't happen often enough.
5 / 10
Top 10 films of 2012 so far:
1. The Hunger Games 8 / 10
2. Avengers Assemble 7.5 / 10
3. 21 Jump Street 7.5 / 10
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
5. The Grey 7 / 10
6. American Reunion 6 / 10
7. Safe House 6 / 10
8. The Raven 6 / 10
9. Contraband 6 / 10
10. The Cabin In The Woods 5.5 / 10