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Non-Review Review: The Dictator

The obvious point of comparison for The Dictator would seem to be Borat or even Bruno. After all, the film reteams Sacha Baron Cohen with director Larry Charles, while providing a vehicle for exploring American society. However, The Dictator is a very different beast – it’s a much safer film, which is quite something to say about a film featuring a joke about “911 2012.” It is more conventional, more accessible, and more driven by a clearly focused narrative. In a way, it feels almost closer to Ali G in da House, only a lot funnier.

The Dictator is a very funny film, but it does feel like Cohen is a little more constrained than usual, a lot more rigidly structured. This lacks the sort of anarchic spirit that viewers have come to expect from Cohen, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. Still, Cohen has a unique ability to blend offensive boundary-crossing with classic comedy, and The Dictator feels like a film that will have a broader appeal than his cult hits. Despite the abundance of jokes about male and female anatomy, I think this might be the first Sacha Baron Cohen film I would recommend to my parents.

Coming to America…

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Navan Cinema Describes Bruno as “Vile”…

The Diamond Cinema in Navan have a… shall we say unique way of advertising their cinema listings. On ringing up today I heard the voicemail message informing me what time they were airing Bruno at and offering some advice for perspective audience members…

Now, Bruno is particularly vile. It leads to a hell of a lot of complaints from people who say, ‘We didn’t think it was that bad’. It is that bad, it will offend every prejudice in the book, believe me so don’t come on after the film and tell us how horrible it was.

One or two people have enjoyed it though.

The news is apparently doing the rounds. My brother has seen it and says it isn’t that great and it seems to have gone out of fashion fairly quick in the United States (dropping 40% between Friday and Saturday). People are telling me that it’s just not that funny. Ah well. This made my day and reminded me why it’s great to live in Ireland.