Sacha Baron Cohen, it’s fair to say is responsible for bringing us a unique brand of humour, the characters he creates such as Bruno, Borat and now General Aladeen aren’t people you’d meet on a daily basis and they’re supposed to be eccentric and extreme. Yes, they’re terribly offensive, would say a lot more than boo! to a goose and aren’t going to be invited to many people’s houses for dinner but he doesn’t actually mean to cause harm over them. Simply entertaining controversy, there are moments where you will question whether or not you should be chortling or not but that’s all part of the appeal.
This time he’s tackled a dictator, supposedly loosely based on Kim Jong-il (the film is even dedicated to him ‘in loving memory’ in the opening credits) and if you recall back to The Oscars where his excellency Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen accidently spilt the ashes of the former over a suited and booted Ryan Seacrest. Since then the media and self-promotion of this film has been everywhere, even on the moon most likely, with videos, publicised (fake) kidnaps of famous film folk, but thank goodness there was no sex-tape revealed in the course of all the pandemonium.
The self-styled beloved oppressor and chief ophthalmologist of the People’s Republic of Wadiya, has oddly played it a lot safer with regard to the situations he’s filmed and set-ups he’s created this time around, rather than in his previous films, this time Sacha Baron Cohen won’t be upsetting people to the point where law suits are raised, eyebrows will be and there will be many articles urging boycotts but that proves the film is worth a look, right?
The plot of the film has pretty much been revealed in full via the copious amounts of trailers that you’ve no doubt seen, but the thing to watch here aren’t the performances but more the situational comedy, getting Megan Fox to star as a hooker that General Al’ places on his shameful snapshot wall, (alongside a troubled Arnie) and the things that he can get away with. In a conventional film you wouldn’t dream of having simpletons fornicate with goats or have as many insults fly out of one character’s mouth at full speed for the full 90minutes. These are reasons to enjoy and be entertained by the General and his antics as he finds himself changing due to the love of a woman and the fact that his own cousin (Sir Ben Kingsley) has him killed.
In the beginning we meet him, a cruel man, full of evil who believes all should be oppressed, women are only good for pleasure and who would execute someone if they tied his shoelace too tight. As the film progresses and he has to deal with an unintentional identity crisis, he warms to an unexpected potential conquest – Zoe (the ever-brilliant Anna Farris). Zoe stands up for everything Aladeen believes in and strives for, utter opposites in every sense of the word.
There’s a huge mix-up and General A’s views are rather conflicted and confused, as he’s got a rather big choice to make. It will make you laugh, even against your intentions, there’s the expected nudity, some highly inappropriate jokes and you’ll leave comparing it to his previous work.