A return to scripted nonsense, Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy remains ambiguously targeted – though the character of an evil dictator allows more guiltless leeway to laugh at Johnny Foreigner, and those silly liberals who accept them. Where else to go when the thin parody has burnt itself out after fifteen minutes, only resurfacing at sparse intervals thereafter among a slew of completely unrelated (and desperate) running gags?
There are some funny jokes in The Dictator, even a few without context. But it’s a great shame that this was greenlit as a movie. General Aladeen would have been much more at home in one of Baron Cohen’s TV shows, if he still did them. Even the website is funnier.