The Dictator

25 May

Synopsis: The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.  This fish out of water story tells the tale of Haffaz Alladeen who has been the dictator of the oil-rich African nation of Wadiya for 40 years. Alladeen is as egotistical and ruthless as dictators come, executing anyone who disagrees with him by using his signature “head chop” signal. Alladeen is summoned by the UN to address their concerns about his nuclear program. A subplot involves him being kidnapped by Clayton  a hitman hired by his traitorous uncle Tamir . Tamir then replaces Aladeen with a decoy named Efawadh, who he can manipulate into signing a document democratizing Wadiya and opening the oil rich country for business. Aladeen escapes, but his beard has been shaved off by Clayton, making him practically unrecognizable. He encounters activist Zoey who offers him a job at her alternative lifestyle co-op. Aladeen refuses the offer and travels to New York’s “Little Wadiya”, populated by refugees from his country, where he encounters Nadal , the former chief of Wadiya’s nuclear weapons program, whom Aladeen thought he had previously had executed. Peppered with caustic and controversial humor the film follows Aladeen as he tries to regain power.

Cast:

Sasha Baron Cohen: as Admiral General Aladeen and his impostor Efawadh

Ben Kingsley: as Tamir, Aladeen’s uncle

Jason Manzoukas: as nadal

Ann Faris: as Zoey

John C. Reilly:  as Clayton

B.J. Novack

Chris Elliot as Mr. Ogden

Fred Armisen as Death to Aladeen Restaurant waiter

Cameos:

Megan Fox: as herself

Edward Norton: as himself

J.B. Smoove: as Funeral Usher

Chris Parnell: as ABN News anchor

Asif Mandvi: as Wadiyan doctor

Rizwan Manji: as Wadiyan patient

Horatio Sanz: as aide on balcony.

Review: Sacha Baron Cohen has once again teamed up with director Larry Charles (Borat/Bruno) and both have delivered a funny and controversial albeit more mainstream story to tell. Inspired by the book Zabibah and the King by Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein, Cohen takes on a journey through the world of a narcissistic, mad Islamic dictator, Admiral, General Aladeen of the pseudo middle eastern country of  Wadiya. He does things like have sex with Megan Fox, who sleeps with him as a booty call but won’t commit to a real relationship, crowns himself best actor/film-star in the country and wins all the country’s sporting events by shooting the competition, what a guy. It is Cohen’s commitment to character that makes this movie so hilarious. Cohen tends to find his characters from the inside out and makes them so real you believe this chameleon is the genuine article. Cohen is so committed to his character in fact you might remember the stunt he pulled at the 2012 Academy awards spilling the ashes of Dictator Kim Jong ii onto Ryan Seacrest.

Ben Kingsley portrays his Uncle Tamir who wants to democratize Wadiya and sell its’ oil for profit. He does a wonderful job as does a terrific supporting cast. Ann Faris plays Zoey the love interest and holds up well as the foil for all the anti-women slurs Aladeen throws at her. The entire film is a reflection of the world situation and Cohen who also wrote the screenplay deserves kudos for having the nerve to dish up this Islamic, Terrorist Dictator with humor and intelligence.

The cameos are well done and add an element of who will show up next. This is certainly worthy of Sacha Baron Cohen’s inspired lunacy.

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