When it comes to the concept of power to the people, how much is too much? The Unites States’ democracy has been under fire more recently given the global economic downturn. They still claim to be “the land of opportunity”, yet many people are still suffering unemployment, homelessness and left with a sour taste of Wall Street’s problems. Do we blame ourselves for adding debt to the banks we use, or the government that made unrealized decisions about it? Maybe a little of both. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen makes these controversies his next target in his latest satire.
The Dictator follows footsteps previously left by Borat and Bruno. Each film revealed the darker side of American nature, whether we were monsters for not accepting homosexuality or if we became the terrorist for thinking every Muslim wants to blow up a tower. As an American, I do feel most people are bigot simply because we’ve become (and still are) the biggest superpower on Earth. Sacha Baron Cohen knows how to trap people into exposing them for who they are. Unfortunately, he picks on us, because were an easy target for everyone else. But that’s the job of a comedian; within every joke, someone’s going to get hurt.
Unlike his previous movies that were stylized mocumentaries, we have an ordinary narrative. This is the only way that it was going to work, as Cohen has become too noticeable to fool anyone. I would recognize him in a heartbeat if I spotted him.
The Dictator follows the great Admiral General Hafez Aladeen in his quest to ensure democracy would never invade his country. Just like his previous characters, Cohen wastes no time in showing off how much passion he threw in. He has the magical power of taking people we should hate and making them lovable. Aladeen works because he doesn’t know of much of an idiot he is. Though he’ll ride to work in a gold hummer and win sixteen gold metals in his countries summer games, he has no idea how much everyone hates him.
A call from the UN forces him to make a trip to America. His first night has him kidnapped, tortured, and his beard cut off. It is a ploy from his uncle so that a decoy Aladeen (also Cohen) can sign a constitution, creating a democracy. Broke and alone, the real Aladeen is exposed to the American freedom by means of a feminist, organic store owner (played by Anna Farris). From here, he tries to ensure his country will still remain in his tyrannical power.
Also like his last movies, he is vulgar, offensive, scatological, and disgusting. Yet, I was laughing in every scene. It may have not been as fresh as Borat, but there was a lot to be said from someone who thinks the world is his. In a way, this shows a softer side to the warlords. Having said that, this movie is a great parody.
I’ll give this four gold hummers out of five. Cohen better have more characters up his sleeve. He’s one of today’s great actors. He’s one of the few people that can be anyone. Put him in a Lady Ga Ga outfit, and I would still pay money to see his antics. Vote for Aladeen!