I’ll admit it–there was a time when juvenile humor was clever. A twilight hour that fell sometime between Adam Sandler, Punk’d and Jackass that beautifully incorporated elements of all three to make a Frankenstein monster of boy humor. That monster was Sacha Baron Cohen. As for the time–with the release of Cohen’s latest slapstick-political farce, The Dictator, we have to wonder if it’s nigh.
The actor-cum-comedian’s latest centers around a Saddam Hussein-ish dictator of a made-up Middle Eastern country, whose entrance to America (purposely) resembles a combination of the opening of Coming to America and the “Prince Ali” number from Aladdin. The trailer makes us long for the Sacha Baron Cohen of old–the humble, unscripted, genius of Da Ali G Show. Borat was a stroke of gone-too-far genius. Brüno was political about gay issues in a way no actual gay person could be, for fear of appearing undignified. But we have to say, if the strongest joke in The Dictator involves a morning-after scene with Megan Fox we have to worry. And what the hell is John C. Reilly doing in there? Sacha, we could have told you: that way madness lies.