Well boys and girls, Sacha Baron Cohen is at it again, this time with a new character, and in non-mockumentary fashion. Frequent collaborator Larry Charles is at the helm once more for this shocking, depraved, and utterly hilarious satire about a ruthless dictator of an impoverished African nation.
Admiral General Aladeen rules over the fictional nation of Wadiya with a rather iron fist. He's basically a more goofy and ignorant though no less rtuthless version of dictators like Saddam, Amin, or Kim Jong-Il. After being threatened by global forces, Aladeen travels to the U.S. to address the world at the U.N. While in town, he is betrayed, left for dead, and forced to roam the land as an unrecognizable ordinary citizen.
His eventual quest for revenge sees him forming a highly improbable partnership and relationship with his polar opposite: a textbook hipster activist Zooey who runs an uber liberal activist co-op grocery store.
Along the way, there's of course character change, growth, and development, but that's not what people want. They want the humor that is wildly gross, offensive, shocking, and funny as hell. This is a sharp movie. I didn't like it as much as Borat, but it's better than Bruno. The political jokes, ethnic humor, and all of that are dead on in their satirical greatness and subversiveness. This isn't Cohen's most inspired work (overall), but it is proof that he is one of the best and most important comic actors out there.
While a lot of the jokes are great, including some stuff I never thought I'd ever see, not all are gold. A number of them fall flat, or just go on for way too long. And, while there are some surprises, there's also a lot of stuff I was expecting to be included as well.
Still though, you really have to give props to Cohen and company for having the guts to continually push the limits of taste while furthering the realm of comedy. Also, special praise should be given for the fact that the film can be simultaneously witty satire with a sharp edge, and totally ridiculously goofy and dumb.
Obviously this isn't for the easily offended, but if you're in the mood for a funny movie with a great vision, and don't mind cringe-inducing moments galore, then see this movie.