Six years ago, comedic genius, and possibly crazed madman, Sacha Baron Cohen, burst onto movie screens with Borat. A film unleashing the most telling story of xenophobia Eli Roth could have only dreamed of in two Hostel films. Since then, he has popped up in another dementedly funny film of his own (Brüno), as well as roles in Hugo, Sweeney Todd, Talladega Nights, and as a voice in the Madagascar films. Transplanting the same hot topic hilarity used in Borat to a narrative feature, Cohen and his band of merry madmen (director Larry Charles and writers Alec Berg, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer), now bring us the scathing satire, The Dictator.
Opening with the funniest “In Loving Memory” possibly of all time, we find the land of Wadiya under the ruling thumb of General Admiral Aladeen (Cohen). Along with his right hand man, Tamir (Sir Ben Kingsley), he is on the verge of unleashing a weapon of mass destruction, so long as he doesn’t have to execute any more of his top scientists as happens to Nadal (Jason Mantzoukas). All because he questions Aladeen’s logic to make their WMD pointy as seen in his beloved Daffy Duck cartoons. Quickly there is an assassination attempt upon Aladeen but it was a decoy and we learn Tamir is trying to overthrow him to gain his rightful place as heir. Tamir begins to look for another attempt and urges Aladeen to address the United Nations in New York City. Aladeen is then kidnapped by a racist security guard (John C. Reilly) who de-beards Aladeen and winds up lighting himself on fire prompting Aladeen’s escape.
On the streets of New York, no one recognizes Aladeen without his precious beard and Tamir has already replaced him with a new double in place to deliver a message inciting democracy to the land of Wadiya. But first Aladeen must go on the time-honored comedic fish-out-of-water misadventures which makes him meet up with Zoey (Anna Faris), a radically leftwing feminist who runs a local indiscriminate health food store that specializes in taking in political refugees. Soon Aladeen finds out that his entire regime has been a lie when he runs into Nadal who lives in Little Wadiya where everyone Aladeen thought he had executed now peacefully live waiting to have their turn with him if they ever run into him again. Aladeen and Nadal hatch a plan to return Aladeen to his rightful place and stop the democracy from spreading to his oppressed nation.