THE DICTATOR

At about a buck-15 (not counting the endless credit roll), the movie
is not much longer than the trailer, but it’s funny throughout. Yes,
the targets are easy, and yes, Sacha repeats himself, and yes, as soon as you see love interest Anna Faris’ Organic Food Collective you know Admiral General Aladeen will ultimately become enlightened. But
getting there is fun, especially when Aladeen argues with his enemy-
turned-sidekick Nadal (One of their exchanges in particular, involving
Aladeen’s rape of three members of Menudo, is priceless.) There’s a
speech at the end about dictatorship which is a not-even-thinly veiled critique of the American empire — over-obvious, sure, but still a bitterly effective summing-up of our sorry times. Plus, more comic
cameos than you can count, with first-among-equals Bobby Lee as a
corrupt Chinese official who mocks his wife to her face in English,
because she doesn’t understand a word. This is the sort of comedy
that, when it shows up on tv and you’re surfing, you’ll stop and watch
it again, maybe even to the end. — Jeff Schultz

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