Sacha Baron Cohen is currently making the rounds to promote his latest film The Dictator ahead of its release next week. Over the weekend, he appeared in character as Admiral General Aladeen on Saturday Night Live as the guest for Seth Myers’ ‘Weekend Update’ segment, during which he unveiled a kidnapped Martin Scorsese who was coerced into giving the film a good review. It should have been comedy gold, but the whole thing just came off as rather lazy and awkward. Paramount then released a red-band trailer for the film today, which features some more edgy material than the first trailer but still feels surprisingly inoffensive and unfunny. Cohen also appeared on The Daily Show tonight, again in character only this time joined by two Gaddafi-style “virgin” female bodyguards. The interview had some good laughs, and Jon Stewart struggled to keep it together, but it also did little to sell me on the film. On paper, The Dictator sounds great: Cohen, an incredibly gifted satirist, skewering real-life despots as well as American prejudices and fears about “A-rabs”, with his Borat director Larry Charles. And yet, none of this feels particularly funny or necessary, which is a shame. Cohen seems content to just slap a beard on and mug his way through each publicity stunt and appearance, and the trailers have done nothing to justify the film’s existence, which leads me to believe that The Dictator will likely end up being nothing more than a wasted opportunity.
The Dictator opens everywhere May 16, and also stars Ben Kingsley, Jason Mantzoukas, John C. Reilly, Megan Fox, Aasif Mandvi, and Anna Faris. Watch the red-band trailer below (via Slashfilm).
Watch Sacha Baron Cohen’s appearance on Saturday Night Live with Seth Myers and Martin Scorsese below.
Watch Sacha Baron Cohen’s appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart below.
For a previous post on The Dictator, hit the link below: