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dictator
Click for full sized poster

The Dictator

Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris and Ben Kingsley
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer
Directed by Larry Charles
website: www.RepublicOf Wadiya.com

IN SHORT: Very funny. Very short.. [Rated R for Strong Crude Langauage and Sexual Content, Brief Male Nudity, Language and Some Violent Images. 88 minutes]

General Admiral Hafaaz Aladeen (Sascha Baron Cohen) of the North African state of Wadiya has power, wealth, and the untold devotion of a multitude of servants, uh, residents of said North African state. Indeed, ever since the General Admiral was granted the throne after the unfortunate accidental death, by 97 bullets and a hand grenade, of his father. Indeed, only his trusted advisor, uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley), has any influence upon the decisions made by the General Admiral.

But on a trip to the United States to address the United naitons regarding the "secret" nuclear arms capability of his country, the General Admiral is attacked by exiled countrymen, stripped of his beard and all the power that goes along with it, and is forced to find his way on the cruel streets of New York City. Lost, alone, and as full of himself as any dictator of a despised country can be on the streets of enemy territory, the General Admiral finds a place in this new world as a stockboy in an organic market run on the honor system by the lovely Zoey (Anna Faris).

As always, films by Sacha Baron Cohen find us writing the longest runon sentences in the history of this site. The film is so lightweight that, if we were to give away even two or three of the plot gimmicks, there would be nothing left of the story for you to enjoy. Let us just say that anything that could be considered politically correct in a story that deals with Middle Eastern despots and nuclear devices that "aren't pointy enough" (yeah, OK, we've dropped one gag. Sorry.) is shredded like the cheese toppings you can buy in any supermarket. That what appears to a comedy-by-the-numbers does a 180 degree shift in the last ten minutes to make political points that we can't talk about 'cuz we never give away surprise endings. As if a "comedy" could have a surprise ending . . . but this one does.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Dictator, he would have paid . . .

$6.50

We laughed enough that we would add an extra buck if there could have been another ten minutes of "story."

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