If you’re like me, you probably love tasteless and offensive humor, the kind of jokes that PC crybabies can’t seem to differentiate from actual racism, sexism, and hatred. As we know, one of the best artists of tasteless humor over the last decade has been Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedian who made audiences everywhere laugh with Da Ali G Show, and his equally tasteless (and unscripted) movies, Borat and Bruno.
Cohen’s latest film, The Dictator, has met with significantly less positive reviews (A 59% on Rottentomatoes’ Tomatometer compared to Borat‘s 91%), and I can’t really see why. Certainly, The Dictator can’t provide the same sense of oh-my-god-he’s-doing-that-to-random-people as in his first 2 movies, given that it’s a scripted movie, but I feel that a third unscripted movie would wear out the whole unscripted-comedy shtick.
That said, The Dictator still has a comedic roof set above it, but it manages to bring in its fair share of laughs. Sacha Baron Cohen is as willing as ever to make a film that breaks and ridicules Western taboos on sex, race, and gender, dedicated to the memory of Kim Jong-Il. The character of General Aladeen is reminiscent of Borat; socially backwards yet still likable (I have no doubt that audiences were cheering Aladeen on as he fought to stop democracy from coming to his country). The presence of basic elements of Cohen’s previous work are enough to make The Dictator at least worth seeing.
Of course, The Dictator is no Borat. The inclusion of a love scene in The Dictator did little more than make the whole film feel that bit more unoriginal, adding nothing to the laughs department, and the occasional bouts of leftist propaganda definitely made the film feel less funny at certain points (though most European audiences probably took to those points). Critics have also slammed the movie for its lack of a complex plot, but if you’re really searching for a complex, intelligent plot, don’t look for comedy movies, go read a book.
Ultimately, The Dictator has everything it needs to satisfy fans of Cohen’s type of humor, and though it will never become as memorable or iconic as Borat, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it and would recommend it to anybody who enjoys a little bit of tasteless humor.