Sacha Baron Cohen returns to straightforward comedy with this spoof about an African dictator cast adrift in the canyons of New York. Reputedy filleting Saddam Hussein's novel Zabibah and the King for inspiration, we follow the tastelessly oblivious, nuclear weapon-obsessed General Aladeen as his crackpot concepts of what is right come into conflict - and sometimes not - with the American ideals of loyalty, justice and decency. Some of the gags may make you want to gag but fans of the risque British comedian will find much to enjoy.
Sacha Baron Cohen
The madcap antics of Borat and Bruno in middle America did just about enough to scrub the memory of Sacha Baron Cohen's first foray into movies, the woeful Ali G Indahouse.
Now Cohen finds himself back on entirely fictional ground with his latest outing, the tale of a Middle Eastern dictator who is summoned to a peace summit in New York, where he has to defend his tyrannical approach to ruling the fictional country of Wadyia.
President Aladeen is an evil, racist buffoon. He orders death sentences at will (should anyone question his logic or indeed, cross him on the stairs), reclassifies the Wadiyan dictionary so most of the words are in fact, his name, and generally despises all things democratic.
But his trusted adviser (Ben Kingsley effectively replaying his character from Prince Of Persia) has a plan to oust Aladeen, replace him with a doppelganger, and sell Wadiya's oil reserves to the likes of BP. This leaves Aladeen out on the streets of New York with no money, and no beard.
The fish-out-of-water plot is sort of Borat meets Coming To America, as Cohen's Dictator is forced to work in a high street shop for a sweet young lady (Anna Faris), where his values are tested in the real world. Meanwhile, he plots to restore himself to power, and rip up the new constitution that will break up Wadiya's dictatorship.