Jack Goes Confidential: ‘The Dictator’ In Loving Memory Of Kim Jong-Il

What can I say about Sacha Baron Cohen that hasn’t been said a million times before?

You either love him or hate him. He’s the master of unstaged and unscripted ambush, confrontational comedy. And naturally, most of it’s pretty offensive by today’s PC standards.
 
The old DA ALI G SHOW followed by BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHAN and BRUNO certainly are proof of his obsession and his success.
 
But with THE DICTATOR Cohen ventures into uncharted territory.

Namely, scripted comedy using real actors. In this case Ben Kingsley and Anna Faris and a storyline of a tiny nation’s dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.
 
The movie opens in the Dictator’s home land of Wadiya—just minutes from Somalia—then rapidly moves to New York City where he will address the United Nations. But there’s a body double being substituted in a potential coup, forcing the real dictator to be stuck in the Big Apple trying to reclaim his identity.

Along the way connecting with local food co-op manager Zoe—bushy armpit hair and all – played by Anna Faris.
 
The movie’s very first frame on screen proclaims: "In Loving Memory Of Kim Jong-Il"
 
That pretty well sets the tone as Cohen as Admiral General Aladeen sets out to offend just about every race, creed and gender. And even though it’s scripted there’s plenty of improvisational and spontaneous pushing of the envelope to satisfy even the most twisted tastes.
 
Some fans have compared Cohen’s schtick to Andy Kaufman. You definitely see some of that in this movie.
 
As for the pacing?
 
It’s rapid fire punchlines. If one joke doesn’t meet your fancy, don’t worry, there’s another one coming in mere seconds.
 
Going into last week’s screening I figured there was nothing fresh to be had.

Was I ever wrong. I found myself laughing throughout the movie’s relatively short running time of just 84 minutes.
 
And yes, there are at least two major scenes that’ll have moviegoers squirming in their seats. They did me!
 
Sacha Baron Cohen fans won’t be disappointed with THE DICTATOR, as the king of culture shock offers up a cameo laden cinematic romp of offensive proportions.

I’m raising 3 out of 5 tyrannic fingers.
 
Sidebar: Anna Faris told me at CinemaCon that her hairy armpits on the set caused quite the stares in New York. Especially when she took breaks from filming and ventured around the neighborhood and didn’t want to go through the process of taking off the bushels of hair—only having to re-apply them a short time later.
 
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES–Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ Am & Fm and anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411

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9 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: ‘The Dictator’ In Loving Memory Of Kim Jong-Il

  1. Super Dave says:

    Sacha Baron Cohen is one of those people who can have you laughing at him one minute and 30 seconds later hating him. He is who he is either accept it or don’t watch his stuff. But I don’t see the Andy Kaufman connection at all. I think Cohen can be funnier more often than Kaufman could not.

  2. Super Dave says:

    Besides anyone who can bash a Kardashian in a movie and it’s funny wins by me

  3. jack p. says:

    Ticket Stubbed 🙂
    Here-here, Super Dave!

  4. PB says:

    I’m Guessing
    Much like the hit-or-miss stylings of the old Ali G Show, The Dictator will most likely fall somewhere between one of the funniest comedies I ever saw (Borat) and the absolute worst (Bruno). I’ll wait for the DVD.

  5. kcfred says:

    but wait…
    Adam Sandler’s got a new one coming out, too. I think I’ll save my hard earned cash and drop a ten to see it on IMAX.
    Never, ever got this guy or Sandler. To each his own, I say.
    Over rated. Both of them.

  6. balbonis moleskine says:

    What happened to Anna Faris? She used to be hot in her Smiley Face/Observe and Report days!

    The only people who find Latka funny nowadays seem to be movie reviewers. We get it, you have a foreign accent and people don’t know how to react to you because you are so stupid/insulting/weird. Yeah, yeah, real window into the American soul. 4 movies, one premise.

    At least Sandler makes movies where there are different premises, no matter how half-cocked they are.

  7. jack p. says:

    hey balbonis whatever……
    ….somehow I figured you’d be into Adam Sandler. I would also think that “Batleship” is right up your alley.

  8. the dude says:

    I like all Cohen’s efforts so far,
    Borat made me laugh so hard my side hurt. The old lady didn’t like Bruno so much but I laughed my ass off.
    I am sure this one would be funny too but unless I see it by myself I’ll have to wait for video for this one.

  9. balbonis moleskine says:

    awww…jack p. did I hurt your feelings?

    I know you don’t understand comedians enjoyed by people under 30. So you feel compelled to give those you think are popular a good review. You don’t want to look out of touch!

    But believe me, everyone who doesn’t review movies is sick of Borat/Bruno/ForeignMan/Latka/AliG/Al-Adeen movies. PLAAAAAYED OUT.

    And I didn’t say I liked Adam Sandler- heck I havent seen one of his since he was punching Bob Barker. But at least his paper thin premises are different than the last one he churned out!

    His characters are just racist anyway. People will cringe at them in 50 years that a Jewish comedian did such nasty Muslim stereotypes.

    The last comedy I watched that I really enjoyed was The Guard with Don Cheadle on DVD. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1540133/

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