Sacha Baron Cohen... People either love him or hate him. It's hard to feel indifferent about this outrageous, over the top and at times, super obnoxious, man. Personally, I admire his chutzpah.
In his new film, 'The Dictator' a mock-documentary directed by Larry Charles (Borat, Bruno and Religulous) Sacha plays Admiral General Aladeen, a bearded North African dictator of the oil rich country, Wadiyas.
To get a sense about what kind of man the Admiral General is...His heroes are North Korea's Kim Jong-il, Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.
Aladeen has been in power since he was seven years old and he's an ignorant egomaniac, who thinks nothing about ordering the death of anyone who displeases him. And practically everyone, at some point, displeases him.
Like most dictators, Aladeen has doubles that stand in for him and they usually wind up shot in the head from an assassin's bullet. This is one General with a lot of enemies. Including his right hand man Tamir (Ben Kingsley). Tamir is secretly planning to overthrow Aladeen, take over the government so he can sell off the country's oil rights; which brings us to the heart of the plot.
Aladeen and his posse are going to New York City so he can address the U.N...And that's where Tamir plans on kidnapping Mr. Admiral General and replacing him with this really stupid shepherd dude, (Sacha Baron Cohen) who just happens to look exactly like... Aladeen...
Aladeen arrives in The Big Apple and before he can pig out on pizza and pretzels, his so called security chief (John C. Reilly) kidnaps him. This is actually one of the funnier scenes in the film.
As Reily becomes unhinged from embarrassment, Aladeen starts a fire and gets away. Unfortunately, he winds up losing his beard and his clothes in the process. And now, no one recognizes him.
Poor, poor Aladeen... all alone... broke, dirty, wandering the streets of New York with not a camel or servant in sight; Karma's a bitch, right?
Well, apparently not for Aladeen. He winds up at an anti-Aladeen protest, and meets, Zoey (Anna Faris) a vegan/feminist/politically very correct chick who manages The Free Earth Collective. And from there...well, you just have to see the film to find out what happens.
I can tell you that 'The Dictator' written by Sacha, Alec Berg, David Mandell and Jeff Schaeffer is funny, at times hysterically funny; politically incorrect; sexually bizarre; really gross but it's also kind of charming... in a weird twisted sort of way.
And for all those reasons, I gave 'The Dictator' which opens in theatres Wednesday, May 16th. 3 1/2 bagels out of 5. If you're a fan of Sacha's, it's a must see.
Check out our video to see if 'The Dictator' made John LOL.