Until “The Dictator,” only a certain class of people appreciated Sasha Baron Cohen’s sense of humor — a class that fell between freshmen and juniors. In previous incarnations — as Ali G, Borat and Bruno — Cohen’s humor centered on putting unsuspecting people in awkward situations. It was occasionally funny, but more often just painful to watch.
Cohen’s new film is not only superior to anything he’s done before, it is easily the funniest picture of the year. From the film’s opening dedication — “In loving memory of Kim Jong-il” — to its politically potent conclusion — the title character wins re-election with what appears to be well over 100% of the vote — “The Dictator” is a seemingly unending gag reel.
The jokes ranges from sharp, hilarious satire to scatological references, and he hits his target at least nine out of ten times. It’s one of those rare instances where the trailer doesn’t spoil the film.
General Admiral Haffaz Aladeen has been the undisputed ruler of oil-rich Wadiya since childhood. He has awarded himself hundreds of advanced degrees, Olympic medals and even a Wadiyan Golden Globe for his performance in “You’ve Got E-mail Bomb.”