For the record, I was not a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen before I saw this film. I’d never seen his TV show, or his previous movies, because they just didn’t look funny to me. But this film did, so I just bought the DVD yesterday.
Cohen plays “Admiral General Aladeen”, ruler of a fictional North African nation. This is a clear parody of the Late Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. The film begins by showing us a record of his various misdeeds, oppressing his own people while living a lavish lifestyle, which includes paying celebrities like Megan Fox to come have sex with him. He’s also not very intelligent, and tends to order the execution of anyone who ever disagrees with him. He’s secretly attempting to build nuclea weapons, all the while denying it to the public. When the UN announced it’s intention to authorize air strikes against his nation, Aladeen agrees to travel to the U.S. to give a speech to the UN.
In America, Aladeen is set-up by his 2nd-In-Command, who arranges for Aladeen to be kidnapped and killed and sets up a dim-witted imposter (who is also played by Cohen) to take his place, and give a speech announced that he plans to implement a new Constitution for his nation, bringing democracy to all. Aladeen survives the assassination attempt, and then tries try to get back to the UN before the Constitution is signed in a week. But, since his beard was cut off, no one recognizes him. Along the way, he encounters a young idealistic American woman named Zoey, who thinks his a poor refugee, and gives him a job working in her health food store.
I won’t spoil the rest. But I have to say that I did not find this film to be funny. At all. I did not laugh once. All of the “funny” bits in this film were already shown in the trailer, there just wasn’t any more to the film. It felt like a bad SNL skit, stretched out over 90 minutes.
TWO THUMBS DOWN