The Dictator (2012) Review

It’s basically a scripted Borat and works sometimes but not others making for a soso comedy film that should have been better. For forty years, the North African Republic of Wadiya has been ruled by Admiral General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen), a lecherous, anti-western and antisemitic despot who surrounds himself with female bodyguards and is working on developing nuclear weapons. After the United Nations Security Council resolves to intervene militarily, Aladeen travels to the UN Headquarters in New York City to address the council. Shortly after arriving, he is kidnapped by a hit-man (John C. Reilly) hired by his traitorous uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley). Tamir then replaces Aladeen with a political decoy, who he can manipulate into signing a document democratizing Wadiya and opening the country’s oil fields for business. Tim’s Film Reviews: more of a weekend rental.


What I disliked the most was that 70% of the good comedy in this film was already seen in the trailer and basically means that the two minute trailer was spread out over one and half hours, so if you do the maths there’s a lot of the film that isn’t really funny and is just a weird scripted plot about a dictator trying to retake his position in his country but learning to love on the way. Oh isn’t that nice. That would be another complaint of mine about this with the whole romantic part of the film or the character trying to be good, the main problem with that is Cohen doesn’t ever really play anybody good, normal or repentant and to be honest I just don’t want him to either I really want the ridiculous character of Borat with no lessons learned or repentant attitude displayed.

The best review “While tastelessness is rampant and the humour uneven, The Dictator also has its moments of slyly clever satire”. Claudia Puig. This is a good description of the film really because it has the same obscene kind of comedy but with a script but the only problem is that the script is rather weak and not hugely memorable. My favourite scene would have to be either the helicopter scene mainly the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Part or the decapitation at the funeral which lead to more jokes which for me was probably the part that made me laugh the most.

Must Watch Trailer:

What really annoyed me about this film is that I was hoping with a bit of a script that they could stop another Bruno and maybe improve Borat a little but it wasn’t good enough and the script might have been this films downfall. Generally though this film is a comedy and it made me laugh and that’s all you can really ask for although I would have preferred a little more comedy and better comedy at that. One praise I will give the film would be the clever satire of the declaration signing near the end with the whole speech about democracy which was really funny and little scary when you think about how close to the truth it really is.

I will be releasing more reviews and more recent films I have seen in Cinema.

To see more reviews I would recommend the site Rotten Tomatoes:


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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

10 responses to “The Dictator (2012) Review”

  1. Nurullah says :

    I do hope that racism, seisxm, anti-semitism, ageism and all other isms are on the way out. My biggest concern though is that as the racists (etc.) become more and more of a minority, they also become more extreme. Maybe we should round them all up and kill them. But that would make me an anti-racist-ist. Then I would have to be killed too. It’s a vicious circle.


    • Tim The Film Guy says :

      I get what you mean, but I think the idea of pointing out such an extreme of racism makes it ridiculous to the audience. I think a lot of people have seen the foolishness of racist behavior. I think Borat displayed it more clearly.


  2. mhuard5 says :

    This movie really beat the same 3 or so jokes into the ground, but I agree, the signing speech at the end was pretty clever.


  3. Ethan says :

    Good review!!! I’ve got reviews for What to Expect, Battleship, & Dictator up on my blog!


  4. AndyWatchesMovies says :

    Never did get around to seeing Bruno, but I’m a big fan of his work even if all his characters tend to blend in a bit.


  5. CMrok93 says :

    I laughed a great deal here with this flick but it just wasn’t anything like Baron Cohen’s others. Maybe I really did miss Bruno after all. Good review Tim.


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