Review: The Dictator funny, but not fantastic

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In “The Dictator,” Sacha Baron Cohen is back, this time as a North African ruler who is both savage…and stupid.  

The storyline is your basic “Prince and the Pauper.” 

The Dictator is kidnapped and replaced by a body double.  Left penniless in New York, he begins a mission to reclaim his rightful role as leader.   

It’s what you’ve come to expect from Cohen.  Every taboo is broken. No joke is too crass or offensive. 

Once again, Cohen dares to go where almost no one else will. If you’re a fan of his style, this movie delivers. It is genuinely funny.  

But unlike his earlier work, it’s just not as inventive.  There is no improv, no unscripted moments, no duping people into believing he’s real.  And the shock humor of saying outrageous things is starting to almost feel ordinary.  

I like this movie. I just don’t love it. 

To me, a man as brilliant as Cohen needs to push the envelope, not re-hash it.