This F*ckin’ Guy, Huh?

Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy “The Dictator” opens today. Since Glenn went to New York for that junket¬†while I was in Los Angeles doing “Dark Shadows”, he got to write the review, which will run in tomorrow’s edition of NOW.

Me? I liked it a lot more than the repugnant “Bruno”, but it doesn’t touch “Borat” for consistent, convulsive laughter. This is Baron Cohen’s first scripted project since the forgettable “Ali G Indahouse”, and you can feel director Larry Charles struggling to find a rhythm that suits both Baron Cohen’s aggressive approach to his character and the idea that jokes can be built up and paid off over the course of a scene.

It’s messy, but it’s still pretty funny every now and again, particularly when Baron Cohen stops whatever he’s supposed to be doing to lob haughty insults at the perpetually game Anna Faris. “A midget in a chemo wig” shouldn’t be funny — it really, really shouldn’t — but somehow these two crazy kids make it work.

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