Review: The Dictator

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British comedian Sasha Baron Cohen certainly has a knack for his own brand of uniquely confrontational satire. His ability to draw laughs from interactions with real people on TV and in films like Borat (which appears, at least, to feature some real people) also helped Cohen pull off publicity stunts at the Oscars and elsewhere to promote his first conventionally scripted movie, The Dictator. The only problem with making an almost-traditional Hollywood comedy is that eventually you have to deliver the goods. With its whisper-thin story and unmemorable characters, The Dictator’s only shot was to hit big on the laughs. There are moments funny just for their audacity—Cohen’s Saddam-inspired Admiral General Aladeen plays a first-person-shooter video game set at the Israeli compound of the ’72 Munich Olympics, for example. But if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the highlight reel.

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