Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews The Dictator


Reason Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews Sacha Baron Cohen's new comedy, The Dictator, for The Washington Times:

Finally, a movie for people who think the best way to make fun of Osama bin Laden is with poop jokes. Granted, that's not all "The Dictator" has to offer: There are also jokes about torture, terror, racism and Brooklyn enviro-hipsters, as well as just about every possible sexual and scatological function imaginable — and perhaps a few that aren't.

There's something for everyone to laugh at in Sacha Baron Cohen's new film, or at least something to be offended by. As often as not, the movie doesn't seem to grasp the difference. Not chuckling at jokes about beheading? Don't worry, before long you'll have the opportunity to laugh at full-frontal male nudity. And if that doesn't tickle your funny bone, there's always a series of comic riffs on female armpit hair, some silly wordplay, and a smattering of pop-culture references. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll cringe.

"The Dictator" takes a throw-feces-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to comedy. Some of it works. Some of it, however, kind of stinks.

Whole thing here


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  1. penis + potato + ocean liner = dictatorship

  2. I didn’t think Borat was all that funny. Bruno was just unpleasant to watch, and not at all entertaining. I never found Ali G particularly amusing either. In summary: Sacha Baron Cohen is, and always has been, overrated and unfunny. Every movie or TV show he has made is nearly unwatchable.

    1. ^this. Overrated because he panders to a demographic that is easily pleased. Hijinks at the expense of the homophobe Eminem, you can practically see the wires hanging from the rafter making the MTV awards audience dance.

      Having said that, I find the trailers for the latest movie intriguing.

      Good job on the review Suderman.

    2. Other that clips shown during reviews, I have never seen Cohen’s work. I have yet to see any reason to watch anything he does.

      1. I saw Hugo and thought it was very good. Also liked Madagascar. Cohen is okay if he’s doing something serious, or funny, it’s okay. But very few people can do stupid on screen well, and Cohen is not one of them.

    3. While I agree with you on all of his live action stuff, he is the least funny, most overblown “commedian” since Jerry Seinfeld (who was at least watchable when he wasn’t funny) I do have to give Cohen credit for King Julien in the Madagascar movies, a genuinely funny character in a solidly enjoyable movie.

  3. I still think his Ali G movie was the funniest one.

  4. The best way to make fun of anything is with poop jokes.

  5. The Three Stooges ripped Hitler more than once, and Chaplin did it with The Great Dictator.

    Cohen did his homework here. Good on him.

  6. OK wow really? So who comes up with all this stuff? Wow.

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