In Sacha Baron Cohen's new film, The Dictator, he yet again plays a prejudiced, ridiculous, heavily accented man who comes to America and does deeply inappropriate things, thus exposing himself, and us, to ridicule. But as opposed to Borat or Bruno, this time, there is a script — and judging from the trailer, a fully scripted Baron Cohen is less hilarious than an improvising one. Baron Cohen plays the titular, sunglasses-wearing dictator, a tyrant in the Gaddafi mold — wealthy, amoral, with a taste for the finer things, and disparaged by NATO, Obama, and Hillary. He arrives in America, "the birthplace of AIDS," to the strains of Jay-Z, listens as John C. Reilly makes a 9/11 joke, and beds Megan Fox, who gamely plays herself as a sort of actress-prostitute who likes to be paid in gold. Presented with a ruby, she asks, "Is that a joke? What am I, a Kardashian?" The Dictator replies, "No, of course not. You are much less hairy." That's the trailer's main punch line, and it's not that good; neither is the sight gag about a woman breaking bricks with her enormous breasts, or the recurring riff of Cohen spouting Arabic-sounding gibberish. But still, fingers crossed. There's an inspired scene at the end where the Dictator participates in a 100-meter dash, personally setting off the starter pistol, running in the race, and then shooting his fellow competitors in the leg. More of that and fewer reality-TV jokes, please.
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