From the guy who brought us Ali G and Borat comes a new character named General Aladeen — a ruthless dictator from a fictional country in North Africa who is part buffoon, part horn dog and part bloodthirsty ruler in "The Dictator."
Through a ridiculous set of circumstances, that I will spare you the details of because they are so contrived, Aladeen ends up in New York while his even sillier double is in charge of his country.
There are plenty of cameo appearances from big stars to keep things interesting. As for the element of political satire we get a pretty heavy-handed lecture that borders on being a bit corny. The dictator himself, like so many other characters by Cohen, is offensive but somehow there is a certain likeability to him.
"The Dictator" is one tasteless gag after another … from playing the Munich Olympic games on Wii to having a massive misunderstanding of 9-11; there is plenty to choose from. The extended birthing scene, however, lowers the bar in shock humor; that was really bad. That all being noted, it's still pretty funny, if you like this kind of thing.
The Flick-O-Meter gives "The Dictator" a three out of five. It is kind of like watching a live-action cartoon. And if you look at it from that perspective, it's not so bad.
Showtimes: "The Dictator" is playing at UA Laguna Village 12 in Sacramento at 11:40 a.m., 12:40 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:50 p.m., 7:40 p.m., 9:20 p.m. and 10:20 p.m.
Dinner: Sacha Baron Cohen may get his kicks making fun of fictional third-world countries, but he's actually British. Get a taste of his homeland's cuisine at on Elk Grove Blvd. The joint's Yelp reviews range from glowing to scolding, but are mostly positive, with reviewers praising the authentic malt vinegar seasoning. Let us know what you think.
Elk Grove Patch staff contributed to this story.