While The Dictator maintains it's satire with a rude & crude approach to it's humour, which won't be to everyone's tastes, it's very much more conventional as a movie than Sacha Baron Cohen's predecessors in Borat & Bruno. In that is very much more a structured movie with a traditional plot with a beginning , middle & ending, as opposed to the TV camera crew following a set of outrageous moments with random people.
The plot is quite simple, Sacha Baron Cohen plays the eccentric dictator of the North African nation of Wadiya, Aladeen. While his 2nd in command who should had been the next in line to the throne, Tamir (Ben Kingsley -Gandhi
), plots to overthrow him. As his latest assassination attempt fails , Tamir decides to take Aladeen out of his comfort zone to America, to address the United Nations, and have him assassinated there, while Aladeen's double will make Wadiya a democracy on World T.V & profit from the oil rights himself. But things don't go quite to plan, as a de-bearded Aladeen runs amok in New York to great comical ends, in a life affirming experience as he meets & falls in love with the beautiful hairy boy child Zoey (Anna Faris -Scary Movie
). Comedy & mayhem ensue as Aladeen runs into people with totally different beliefs to his own.
Overall i found The Dictator to be an hilarious movie with many comedy set pieces, i felt offended & shocked in places but i couldn't help but laugh, although some of the jokes fell flat, like the Wadiya meaning of positive & negative for example. On the flip side it was very clever & great satire on real life. The running jokes in the film had me in stitches, especially Bobby Lee (Harold & Kumar
) as the Chinese delegate who has a penchant for American Hollywood actors who will do anything for money apparently. And Aladeen's own trophy wall of celebs, with cameo's by Megan Fox & Edward Norton bringing this to fruition. John C.Reilly (Step Brothers
) as a racist US government agent, had an hilarious torture scene with Aladeen. Sacha Baron Cohen is hilarious in the lead, while Ben Kingsley's role is quite reserved in comparison, yet his gravitas is welcome to give the villain that serious edge required to counterbalance things & Anna Faris is right at home with her comic rapport with Cohen.
In conclusion, i found the more traditional film approach of The Dictator an easier transition back into the genius of Sacha Baron Cohen's work. For those who prefer his more edgy Bruno/Borat shock T.V style this may seem like Sascha selling out to Hollywood with a mainstream approach & probably be a little disappointed. Recommended.