15 Sep 2014
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[Video] Movie Review: 'The Dictator' is Likeable

Funnyman Sasha Baron Cohen is at it again, this time as a flashy, offensive Middle Eastern dictator who comes to the U.S.

Editor's Note — A version of this review originally appeared in Roseville Patch.

From the guy who brought us Ali G and Borat comes a new character named General Aladeen — a ruthless dictator from a fictional country in North Africa who is part buffoon, horn dog and ruthless bloodthirsty ruler in "The Dictator."

Through a ridiculous set of circumstances, that I will spare you the details because they are so contrived, Aladeen ends up in New York while his even sillier double is in charge of his country.

There are plenty of cameo appearances from big stars to keep things interesting. As for the element of political satire we get a pretty heavy-handed lecture that borders on being a bit corny. "The Dictator,"  like so many other characters by Cohen, is offensive but somehow there is a certain likeability to him.

"The Dictator" is one tasteless gag after another … from playing the Munich Olympic games on Wii to having a massive misunderstanding of 9-11; there is plenty to choose from. The extended birthing scene, however, lowers the bar in shock humor; that was really bad. That all being noted, it's still pretty funny, if you like this kind of thing.

The Flick-O-Meter gives "The Dictator" a three out of five. It is kind of like watching a live-action cartoon. And if you look at it from that perspective, it's not so bad.

Showtimes: "The Dictator" is playing at AMC Loews Mountainside 10 and Union Theaters.

Film critic Brett Martin gives his take on a new release. See all Brett's reviews at www.flickedup.com. Follow Brett Martin in Facebook at TheBrettSide.

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