The Dictator Directed by: Larry Charles Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, John C. Reilly Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: May 11, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 5/10
Thoughts by TSR: The first time Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles teamed up they delivered the outrageously funny Borat. Next they came together for Brüno, a film I liked, but certainly not one that reached the highs of their previous effort. So when I heard they would be teaming up again in a comedy that would have Sacha Baron Cohen playing an insane dictator, naturally I was excited. That’s why it hurts so much to say that I did not enjoy most of this trailer for The Dictator.
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but this certainly wasn’t it. To me, this almost feels like a character that Adam Sandler would play. Even more disheartening is that it reminds me of something Seltzer and Friedberg (the hacks behind Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans) would make. I can’t decide what the low point of the trailer is, but the Megan Fox/Kardashian joke is definitely near the top of that unfortunate list.
It’s not all bad though. I’ve seen this trailer a few times now, and I’m stone-faced every time until the final bit on the track. Between Baron Cohen’s running style, slowing down to shoot his competitors, and finally forcing the finish line to come to him, I always end up laughing. I suppose if they are only going to make me laugh once, doing it at the very end of the trailer is the time to do it.
I’m a big fan of Sacha Baron Cohen – both in his own films and playing scene-stealing supporting roles in others – so I’m hoping this is a case of them putting only the broadest bits into the trailer in order to appeal to a wider audience. After this trailer my expectations will certainly be kept low, but The Dictator is still a film I’ll be keeping an eye on as its release grows nearer.