Sacha Baron Cohen has shocked the world with the audacity of several of his characters such as Borat
, but as he tries to make his cross-over into a plain narrative-driven comedy, rather than his character-driven comedy, we find ourselves a little short-changed. The sad thing about it is that The Dictator
could have been revolutionary (pun intended). Here's a comedian who is not afraid to piss people off, upset sensibilities, and put a mirror
into conservative, small-world mentality in a story about a dictator in the time of Syria and Egypt and North Korea. You'd think, no, you'd hope he would ruffle some feathers and get us to start seeing how ridiculous things are in other parts of the world and instead we are treated to some weak, undeveloped plot and a couple of politically incorrect gags.
The weakness is the story. It is so under-developed that it moves without any real consideration for its characters' development. The story is so contrived that it allows one gag to follow another but because each character sort of stumbles into their realizations, we are not drawn into the world. It isn't as funny as it could be because everything is so fake. It is all one-dimensional and fails to grab its audience. There is no one to root for, not even freedom and democracy
because nothing is ever at stake.
Again, Cohen pushes the envelope
in certain moments creating some very uncomfortable situations and if that's your thing, then maybe you'd enjoy it. But the movie felt more like it was a bunch of jokes that they put together and built a whole story around just so that they can put all these jokes in.