THE DICTATOR — MOVIE REVIEW by Peter Warr


Sascha Cohen is a very funny actor and comes up with original and off beat material in his latest film. He also breaks new ground and crosses the line with the crudity of some comedy scenes. Whilst THE DICTATOR is classed as a comedy, it does have some very deep meaning contained within its plot. For instance: Aladeen’s second in charge bears an amazing resemblance to the current president of Afghanistan, both in choice of hat and facial appearance. The talk about ending Aladeen’s dictatorship and creating a democracy is exactly what has happened in Iraq, Lybia and a few other places in the Middle East. Sacha Cohen is just not creating a comedy movie–he is commenting about world politics. In particular, the so called creation of these new democracies.

In the beginning of the film, it was hard to know which way the movie was going to go. Was it going to be an outrageous but ‘G’ classified comedy you could take the whole family to or one where the comedy was adult in some parts. Such as Ben Stiller/Cameron Diaz in: ‘THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY’. In particular, the bathroom scene when he is at Mary’s house.

You can still break new ground in comedy by pushing the boundaries of decency, such as the toilet scene in DUMB AND DUMBER. the endless, uncontrollable farting just makes people of all ages laugh and giggle uncontrollably.

Sacha Cohen  is forcing this film into a much older classification by including some of the crudity in the Free Earth store. Whilst censorship rules have been relaxed incredibly, it doesn’t mean that all crudity needs to be talked about in the movies. It fails to be comedy because it is still an  embarrassing topic and I will not even describe the scene in this review.

In another section of the film, why do we need to see so much of you — Sacha Cohen, especially a fleeting glimpse of your hairy genital region being smashed against a window. Yet when it came to the scene in the bedroom, with the four women, we didn’t get to see any boobs. It is because you were the producer and co-writer and had a say as to what was going into the final mix. Well the movie does not cut it with 50 per cent of your paying audience i.e. the male population. Get rid of your genitals — that is, if they were really yours or a body double and throw in some boobs. The group of women were not very beautiful either. Surely, you could have found any number of beautiful actresses around Hollywood.

As for the lesbian store manager – she kinds of remind you of a young Sally Fields of GIDGET/FLYING NUN fame. Feminist lesbians never look attractive in real life, yet alone on the PANAVISION screen.

There are many original and cleverly written scenes in the film. The sequence in the helicopter when Aladeen and Nadal are talking, mainly in Arabic (?) with a few English words and phrases included, is well scripted and acted. The misunderstanding in the meaning, by the two opposite American passengers, is well developed. Other comedy sequences just go flat somewhere just after beginning. For instance, the torture scene with American security agent. The scene is weak and too long. the joke just goes on pathetically.

There are too many unattractive people on the screen, with beards. Hardly any women and certainly not photogenic enough.

I just don’t think extreme crudity is funny, entertaining or belongs up on the panavision screen, in a movie which has some very funny sequences. Some of these scenes reflect seriously on some of todays real life events in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

It’s not that I am conservative. I just  don’t find some sequences funny at all. More major roles needed to be given to beautiful women. Get rid of the extreme crudity and you will have a movie which can be shown to younger audience who will laugh at some of the genuinely clever and  original comedy sequences.

PETER  WARR  AUSTRALIA  24TH OF MAY, 2012 . VIEWED AT HURSTVILLE CINEMA8 COMPLEX ON 23.5.2012.

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