Director: Larry Charles (Borat)
Screenplay: Sacha Baron Cohen (Bruno), et al.
Cast: Cohen (Hugo),
"I'm not a dictator. It's just that I have a grumpy face." Augusto Pinochet
Moving on from his subversively funny mockumentaries Borat and Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen takes his anarchic wit into the narrative form called The Dictator with less spectacular results.
His General Admiral Aladeen from the North African nation Wadiya takes heroic action to prevent democracy from being established in his country. Why you might ask? Because in the US, the one percent tyrants and their oil tycoon accomplices have shown that democracy is a bigger tyranny than any leader could impose.
In addition to the barbs aimed at the US, Baron Cohen has fun with things scatological and sexual—alleged sex with Meghan Fox, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, and Arnold is amusing if not fantastical. The extended joke with a bodiless head is dragged out a bit too much but just irreverent enough to be worth noting. Sliding on a cable to a hotel room has a silent movie feel to it as does the obvious similarity to the Marx Brothers Duck Soup with a similarly hapless Groucho as dictator Rufus T. Firefly.
However, there are fewer laughs than in previous outings as the raunchy, basically gross material now seems tired after Judd Apatow and his Hangover franchise have taken that terrain. Baron Cohen doesn't rule there anymore.