When you look at the big-screen career of Sacha Baron Cohen, you can immediately finger his portrayal of the obnoxiously clueless Middle Eastern fan-favorite Borat as being his most successful role to date. Which is why we're not surprised to see him return to making fun of people from that section of the world for his latest partnership with director Larry Charles (Borat, Bruno) called The Dictator. This time, though, Baron Cohen isn't looking to fool anyone or make asses out of American citizens (those jokes have sort of run their course), so he's invented a new character and simply made a straight narrative feature about him starring folks like Anna Faris, Megan Fox, John C. Reilly and Ben Kingsley.
Here, Cohen takes on the role of a Saddam Hussein-like dictator who travels to New York City in an effort to show off and prevent democracy from ever making it back to his home country, while also paying Megan Fox for sex in jewels, marching down Broadway in an elephant parade and, at some point, falling in love with Anna Faris, who we imagine is supposed to show him that America ain't so bad after all (though none of that is featured in this trailer). Instead, what we get here are a lot of terrorism jokes, Arabic jokes ... and then more terrorism and Arabic jokes -- isn't their language just hilarious?
Our verdict: Eh. Do films like this really help bridge the gap between cultures? Nope, not so much -- all they really do is help further instigate a stereotype that leads to outlets like Lowe's pulling their ads from a harmless TV show about Muslim Americans because for the brain-dead out there, Muslim always automatically means terrorist. But, ya know, it's supposed to be a comedy Debbie Downer, so sit back, relax and enjoy the first trailer for The Dictator, courtesy of Moviefone.