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The Dictator - BANNED & UNRATED Version (Two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

The Dictator - BANNED & UNRATED Version (Two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
Studio: Paramount
List Price: $39.99
Street Price: $9.99
Amazon.com: $14.98
Release Date: Aug 21, 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Running Time: 83 minutes

Sasha Baron Cohen is at it again in this wildly offensive, farfetched political comedy about the fictional North African Republic of Wadiya. Cohen plays Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen, a childish, anti-western and anti-Semitic ruler who refuses to allow Wadiyan oil to be sold internationally and is working on developing nuclear weapons. He is under fire from the United Nations about the potential weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations Security Council gives him an ultimatum to either allow UN weapons inspectors to do their job or come to UN Headquarters in New York City to address their concerns. Upon arriving in New York he is kidnapped by Clayton (John C. Reilly) who is hired to assassinate Aladeen. Aladeen’s uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) replaces him with a mentally-challenged political decoy named Efawadh, who is being used to sign a document to democratize Wadiya and open the country’s oil fields for international business. Clayton accidentally burns himself to death but not before he cuts off Aladeen’s famous beard, leaving him practically unrecognizable. He then encounters activist Zoey (Anna Faris), who runs an alternative lifestyle co-op. Aladeen accepts a job offer from Zoey, whose company is catering the signing event at the hotel. He begins to have feelings for Zoey after she refuses his sexual advances and she teaches him how to masturbate. After helping turn Zoey’s business around by imposing strict schedules, their relationship becomes strained after he reveals his true self. After acquiring a new bread from a corpse, Aladeen incapacitates Efawadh and tears up the democracy declaring document in front of the UN delegation. He then goes on a tyrant praising the virtues of dictatorship. Upon seeing Zoey come in the room, he declares his love for her and vows to democratize his country. Fast forward a year later and Aladeen and Zoey are getting married. During a television interview, Zoey declares she is pregnant which Aladeen responds by asking if she is having “a boy or abortion”.

Let me first say that Sasha Baron Cohen has had his fair share of funny parts. The funniest by far was Jean Girard in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. But this performance would definitely rank towards the bottom. Cohen makes the mistake of trying entirely too hard to be funny. He over thinks the comedy and it really shows. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few funny lines in the movie but not enough to make it enjoyable. I found myself staring at the screen and thinking “Why am I still watching this”. Also, I do enjoy Anna Faris and she did brighten up the movie but even her performance was lacking. The one bright spot was John C. Reilly’s small 10 minute appearance. The dialogue between him and Cohen was quite funny. The movie is only 83 minutes long and even with the unrated version is only 98 minutes. If I had to do it over again, I’m not sure I would have watched the movie. I’m not saying some people will not like/enjoy this movie but I know for a fact that I could have done without it. This critic didn’t have high hopes to begin with but this movie failed to deliver on its comedic intension.

Posted by Ryan Gibbs, September 29, 2012 7:25 AM

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