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A 2012 movie staring Sacha Baron Cohen doing what he does best - pretending to be a non-ethnic-specific Middle East/African guy who makes fun of other people's ignorance regarding ethnic stereotypes.
In this film Sacha plays Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen of the Republic of Wadiya, a fictional country in North Africa. Shabazz is pretty much the worst ruler of a country this side of Pol Pot (in a funny way of course) but to him it's just everyday life. However when he's invited to give a speech at the United Nations in New York, he's kidnapped and has his beard shaved off, making him unrecognizable.
Now penniless and without status. Shabazz finds himself picked up by a kindly restaurant manager who offers him a job. Hilarity Ensues as Shabazz tries to find a way back to his throne, prevent a 'democratic' constitution being signed by a body double, and build weapons of mass destruction, all at once.
Not to be confused with The Great Dictator.
The Dictator provides the following tropes:
- Adam Westing: Megan Fox as a celebrity who prostitutes herself to powerful world leaders.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Zoey teaches Aladeen how to do this, much to his joy.
- Arab Oil Sheikh: Aladeen, although not an Arab (or so he claims) and not actual sheikh, is really ostentatious in his displays of wealth and has the requisite Middle Eastern flavour.
- Babies Ever After: Zoey is revealed to be pregnant during the credits.
- Bald of Evil: Tamir.
- Big Applesauce: Justified, as Aladeen has a perfect reason to go to New York (giving a speech in the UN).
- Black Comedy
- Blatant Lies: Shabazz's propoganda about himself is full of this. For example, read his biography.
- Bodyguard Babes: Shabazz's guards.
- Body Double
- But You Screw One Goat!: Aladeen's body double is more, err, comfortable with goats than women...
- The Cameo: Lots.
- Megan Fox sleeps with Aladeen in the beginning.
- John C. Reilly has a two-scene role.
- Garry Shandling as the health inspector.
- Fred Armisen as the restaurant owner.
- Chris Elliott as hotel security.
- Aasif Mandvi as the Wadiyan doctor
- In a huge Brick Joke payoff, Edward Norton is heavily implied to have committed homosexual acts for money.
- Character Blog: The Republic of Wadiya site.
- Character Filibuster: Aladeen's final speech about America totally not resembling a dictatorship.
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The oil magnates ready to pounce upon Waidyan oil.
- Crapsack World: Wadiya is so worthless, that the European colonial powers all played hot potato with one another for the ownership of the country, since no one wanted it. First the Italians claimed it, but they then they sold it to the Swiss for a truckload of cheese, who then paid Germany to take it. Germany then had to convince the people of Wadiya that they wanted independence.
- The Ditz: Aladeen and Zoey both come across as pretty flaky but they are far more on the ball than Aladeen's moronic double.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Aladeen pleasures Zoey by tonguing her hairy armpit
- Evil Versus Evil: A ruthless egomaniac dictator versus a corrupt Treacherous Advisor who wants to sell off his country to oil tycoons.
- Expy: Shabazz is one to (former) real world dictator Kim Jong-il of North Korea- sorry, The Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The film is even dedicated to Kim's memory!
- Fake American: In-universe. Aladeen does an expectedly horrible job of impersonating an American tourist.
- Faking the Dead: The "Osama bin Laden" killed by Seal Team 6 was actually a Body Double. The real Osama is mooching off Aladeen and messing up his bathroom
- Funny Foreigner
- The Generalissimo
- Glorious Leader
- Granola Girl: Zoey, who manages a completely democratic health food store which is hyper eco friendly and takes in political refugees as workers.
- Heel Face Turn: Zig Zagged towards the end, with Aladeen going back and forth between deciding to introduce democracy and remaining as a dictatorship. Ultimately played straight, at least to some extent.
- Hidden Depths: For all of Aladeen's many, many faults, he's actually an incredibly efficient manager. This is evidenced when he forcibly takes control of Zoey's store. After a couple of days, he's got the right employees doing the right job, has the store looking nice and generally running smoothly.
- It's All About Me
- Of course, he eventually becomes the Jerk with a Heart of Gold due to being somewhat humbled by his experience, but not by much.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: A Running Gag. Aladeen keeps comparing Zoey to a boy.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to Borat and Bruno. While those two films were R-rated (and very hard R's, at that), this one seems to play it on the safe side and with a few trims could have easily been a PG-13 (which was the studio's original plan).
- Line-of-Sight Name: Aladeen seems almost incapable of coming up with an alias any other way. This leads to fake names like "Ladies Washroom" that don't fool anybody.
- Love Redeems: Aladeen's feelings for Zoey help him become a (slightly) better person.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Shabazz seized power from his father after murdering him in a "hunting accident". Though he apparently did a really shitty job of making it look like an accident.
Biography: When Aladeen was just a child, his father Omar died in a tragic hunting accident when he was hit by 97 stray bullets and a stray grenade. Shortly afterwards, Omar's Chief Advisor suggested that Aladeen should be officially declared the successor. The supremely-humble Aladeen responded by accepting the position.
- Method Acting: Sacha Baron Cohen appeared at the Oscars as General Aladeen and has done many interviews as him.
- Mistaken for Terrorist: This happens to Aladeen and Nadal when they are on the helicopter. The American tourists think that Aladeen is in league with Bin Laden; in reality, he's just letting Bin Laden crash at his guest house.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: The Republic of Wadiya does not have an overly long name, but it deserves a mention for just now blatantly undemocratic it is. From the official site:
Aladeen righteously declared his father Eternal President of the Republic and called for free elections to determine who would serve as Vice-President under his dead father. Aladeen won with only 99.999% of the vote. After an exhaustive government investigation, it was discovered that the one dissenting vote came from Aladeen himself, who deliberately misspelled his own name as an ingenious test of the system.
- Playing Against Type: Anna Faris, usually typecast as a Dumb Blonde, is playing a tomboyish political activist.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Zoey is a sort of Fridge Logic example. While she's a Benevolent Boss she's allowed such blunders as letting an African refugee from a tribe with no concept of money man the registers, a Peruvian woman whose hands have been replaced with hooked prosthetics do inventory, and is oblivious about one of her employees skimming from the till.
- Worst of all is probably hiring Aladeen, though it turns out his totalitarian "Supreme Grocer" managing style worked wonders.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Goes without saying, since it is a Sacha Baron Cohen film.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Aladeen's ideas on how bombs work comes from watching Daffy Duck cartoons.
- Refuge in Audacity: What did you expect from a Sacha Baron Cohen film? This quite possibly outdoes Borat and Bruno put together in terms of outrageousness.
- Refuge in Vulgarity
- Riches to Rags
- SMURFING: Aladeen has ordered that a great number of words in the Wadyian language be replaced with "Aladeen". Including contradictory terms like "positive/negative" which causes a lot of confusion.
Physician:I have got news. Do you want the Aladeen news or the Aladeen news first?
- Torture Technician: Aladeen's kidnapper tries to be this, but Aladeen, himself a Torture Technician, mocks and degrades his apparently outdated tool set, ruining the fun for his captor.
- Treacherous Advisor: Aladeen's uncle Tamir.
- Villain Protagonist
- X Meets Y: The film is basically Coming to America meets Ali G Indahouse meets You Don't Mess With the Zohan.
- You Have Failed Me: Aladeen is known for having people executed for extremely petty reasons. Subverted in that everyone he has sentenced to death escaped execution and formed a resistance movement against him in New York.
- Zero-Percent Approval Rating: Aladeen pretty much as dictator of Wadiya.