Release date: May 16, 2012
Directed by: Larry Charles
Written by: Sacha Baron Cohen & Alec Berg & David Mandel & Jeff Schaffer
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Jason Mantzoukas, Ben Kingsley, Megan Fox, John C. Reilly, Bobby Lee
Running Time: 85 minutes
Sacha Baron Cohen’s character has been described as, “a self-proclaimed lord, he rules over others using mostly his charisma and delegating; i.e., telling other people what they should do, since he certainly has very little ability to lead.” Oh, wait, that’s the animated character of King Julien, voiced by Baron Cohen in the animated Madagascarseries (the third film releasing this June). And yet, even if Baron Cohen’s fearless leader in The Dictator doesn’t require an animator, these two imperious characters are sketched in a similarly broad manner.
As for his star-turn vehicles, we’ve grown accustomed to Baron Cohen’s full-immersion personalities … whether it be his take on the all-inclusive offending journalist Borat, the über-fashionista Brüno, the suburban poseur rapper Ali G or, in this instance, General Aladeen. What’s new with this film, however, is its structured script – resulting in the most mainstream Baron Cohen project we’ve seen so far.
Reminiscent of 1988′s Coming to America, Baron Cohen’s “Admiral General Aladeen, Supreme Leader, Chief Ophthalmologist, Invincible, All Triumphant, Beloved Oppressor of the People” travels to the States, to speak at the United Nations in New York City. His ride down Fifth Avenue on a camel is just the start of his adventures: he inadvertently visits Brooklyn; he finds himself attracted to a person he calls “Justin Bieber’s chubby double;” and he ditches assassin attempts, all the while fighting to preserve his dubious right to the throne of the oil-rich North African country of Wadiya. (That’s Wah-DEE-ya, rather than the New York-ese version of “wadiya,” e.g., “Wadiya want?” or “Wadiya, crazy?”)
[For the full review and Kimberly's "Wadiya Wanna Know the Rating Fer"?, click here]