Weapon of mo­ronic destruc­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

The Dic­ta­tor Star­ring Sacha Baron Co­hen, Anna Faris, Ja­son Mant­zoukas, Ben Kings­ley. Screen­play by Sacha Baron Co­hen and Alec Berg, di­rected by Larry Charles. 85 min­utes, R16 (of­fen­sive lan­guage, sex­ual ma­te­rial). Show­ing at Read­ing Cine­mas Porirua.

Whether you love him, hate him, or just wish he’d bring back Ali G, Sacha Baron Co­hen is back in the cinema.

With The Dic­ta­tor Co­hen and di­rec­tor Larry Charles thank­fully scrap the pseudo- doc­u­men­tary style that worked for Bo­rat but felt tired and in­dul­gent by Bruno.

The shame­less co­me­dian donned a bee­hive beard to play the dic­ta­tor of make-be­lieve north African na­tion Waadeya. A par­ody of ego­tis­ti­cal and ma­ni­a­cal rulers – with a healthy slice of moron – Aladeen fills his days bang­ing Hol­ly­wood star­lets (nice cameo Me­gan Fox), or­der­ing ex­e­cu­tions, and play­ing video games where he gets to re-en­act the as­sas­si­na­tion of Is­raeli ath­letes at the 1972 Mu­nich Olympics.

Co­hen is Jewish, so he gets away with this, but it doesn’t mean it’s that funny.

The plot con­cerns a trip to New York to ad­dress the United Na­tions, where Aladeen is be­trayed by his num­ber two (Ben Kings­ley), re­placed with a dop­pel­ganger and left beard­less in Brook­lyn, the United States’ most lib­eral com­mu­nity. It’s a fun con­cept and there are some chuck­les to be had as Aladeen is both re­pulsed and cap­ti­vated by bo­hemia.

In a sense, it’s like an up­dated Com­ing to Amer­ica, but de­mented, pro­fane and cul­tur­ally in­sen­si­tive.

The trou­ble with The Dic­ta­tor is how frus­trat­ingly bone­headed and ob­vi­ous it is: ev­ery snip­pet of po­lit­i­cal satire is pre­dictable, ev­ery cul­tural put-down or par­ody work­ing for the cheap­est laugh pos­si­ble. Aladeen’s love in­ter­est Zoey ( Anna Faris) is an ex­cuse for Co­hen to throw barbs at fem­i­nism and im­mi­grant-hug­gers, but the best he can do is make fun of armpit hair and dis­abled refugees.

On the po­lit­i­cal front, there’s noth­ing sharper than a di­a­tribe com­ment­ing on the hypocrisy of the US’ sup­posed land of the free.

I could have stayed home and got the same thing from a be­lowa­v­er­age episode of Satur­day Night Live.

Take away the scat­ter­shot, of­ten scat­o­log­i­cal gags – Aladeen even takes a dump while sus­pended be­tween two build­ings – there isn’t much left for The Dic­ta­tor to hang its hat on.

Larry Charles made his name on Se­in­feld and Curb Your En­thu­si­asm – and he’s yet to prove he can hold our at­ten­tion past 30 min­utes.

How­ever, it is a small mercy of The Dic­ta­tor that it gets us back on the street in less than 90 min­utes.

Sacha Baron Co­hen devo­tees, knock your­selves out, but I’m wag­ing more folks will walk out of the movie house talk­ing about the trailer for Seth Mcfar­lane’s Ted than this weak rou­tine of skits.

Off with his head: Sacha Baron Co­hen’s lat­est satire The Dic­ta­tor lays waste to western and east­ern pol­i­tics – but it also wastes a good idea on wit­less, lazy ob­ser­va­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.