Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Dictator

New Movie Release 

The Dictator feels like 
a forced march

Okay, first things first. I've never really been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen's humor. 

Don't get me wrong, Cohen is a talented actor, as he displayed in HugoBut Ali G, or Bruno? Not so much. At least for me.

There is definitely a trend to be seen with his movies, though. Bear with me here.

Cohen's early work is funny, I think, because it feels very much like total improv....but as he's become more and more famous, the work that he does is scripted, and it feels scripted.

There is another factor at play here, as well - although this is just a personal theory of mine: what was funny a few years ago just isn't funny here in 2012. All of Cohen's characters are a variation of outrageous people, people that don't exist in real life.

And it's getting old.

Cohen plays General Aladeen, a dictator that travels to New York to give a speech, but is double-crossed by his second-in-command, Ben Kingsley. 

So, Aladeen is stripped of worldly power and forced to live as a common man. Along the way he gets a job at a grocery store and meets a very cute Anna Faris.

What escapes me is the point of this film. 

It isn't cutting-edge comedy, the editing is poor, and the scenes feel like a bunch of not-so-funny sketches cobbled together by some guys that had no clear purpose in their vision. 

Cohen is working again with Larry Charles, who directed his earlier films, and I kinda think they ran out of ideas, but decided to make a movie anyways.

Cohen, as always, is fully invested in his character. 

But, quite frankly, this fish-out-of-water bit has run its course....perhaps a few years ago when he played Borat.

There are a few laughs, but they are few and far between, mainly because I'm not a huge fan of gross-out humor or crass jokes. That's just me, though. I tend to like intelligent comedy.

And for an actor like Cohen, I really do expect better. He's smart and talented, but he took the easy way out on The Dictator

The studio has been pushing this film on us relentlessly with the advertising campaign, so 

I'm sure the film will make money.

I'm not so sure it should, however.

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