There’s actually very little footage of Sacha Baron Cohen as Admiral General Aladeen in the first scene of the upcoming comedy “The Dictator,” but his presence can be felt in every frame.
Presented as a faux news report, the below scene establishes some basic facts about the film’s world. We see the young Aladeen as a child being groomed for his adult life. As the iron-fisted leader of the fictional North African country Wadiya, Aladeen has confusingly and hilariously changed multiple words to “Aladeen” and even “rigged” the local Olympics to be in his favor.
Watch the clip here:
Borat had a boorish likability that lent him a sort-of underdog status, while both the fashionista Bruno and the wannabe rapper Ali G allowed you to laugh at their vapidness while also laughing at Cohen’s real targets in popular culture and society at large — usually at the expense of hapless “co-stars” not in on the joke. Aladeen, however, is so far being presented as an inherently evil character with his finger on the nuclear trigger, and it seems to be Cohen’s broadest — and potentially most controversial — character creation yet. How will audiences respond to the combination of touchy topical satire and slapsticky gross-out comedy?
Like Cohen’s previous films, “The Dictator” was directed by Larry Charles, and the two seem like a perfect cinematic match. The film recently changed its release date to avoid going head-to-head with Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows.”
“The Dictator,” also starring Anna Faris, John C. Reilly, Ben Kingsley and Megan Fox, opens nationwide May 16.