10PM, TEN ★★★
The affronting antics of Sacha Baron Cohen’s comic creation, Admiral General Aladeen of Wadiya, mostly make for good bad-taste comedy. An equal-opportunity oppressor from the north of Africa – imagine an even-madder version of the late Libyan madman Muammar Gaddafi – Aladeen has been a ruthless ruler since the age of seven. Now he’s in the US, trying to explain away why he’s been stockpiling uranium for (cough!) “clean energy purposes’’. After getting off to an erratic start, The Dictator locks into a galling groove that often shocks viewers into laughing against their better judgment. Cohen is in his best form since his blockbuster smash comedy Borat, firing off jolting jokes at the expense of anyone and everyone. His infamous ability to get away with material other comedians dare not touch remains as appallingly audacious as ever. Yes, you will be offended. But there’s no hope of not laughing often at a film dedicated “in loving memory of Kim Jong-il”.
Outrageous: Sacha Baron Cohen as Admiral General Aladeen of Wadiya in TheDictator.