REVIEW: The Dictator

Robert Greenberger

Robert Greenberger is best known to comics fans as the editor of Who's Who In The DC Universe, Suicide Squad, and Doom Patrol. He's written and edited several Star Trek novels and is the author of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. He's known for his work as an editor for Comics Scene, Starlog, and Weekly World News, as well as holding executive positions at both Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

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2 Responses

  1. Cohen’s original characters, Ali G, Borat and Bruno were designed to be used in a “Candid Camera” sort of style, doing straight interviews with people not in on the joke. As with Tom Green at his best, the comedy is not in what the interviewer says, but how the interviewee responds.

    Seek out some of his appearaces as Ali G on real British talkshows – they are spectacular.

    In both cases, those characters don’t transfer as well to a long-form narrative. The Ali G film was good enough, but suffered from not giving the public what they wanted. Borat came closest to succeeding, Bruno less so, but both mostly when they were doing the scenes with people who weren’t aware they were being played. As far as I understand, there are no such scenes in this film. While the character itself is funny (in small doses) I see no reason to want to root for him to improve and grow. I must assume, come the end, he does not.

    Having said that, Cohen is STAGGERINGLY good in comedies that he is not in charge of. He did very well in Sweeney Todd, and he was dead hilarious in Hugo. His self-created work is good in spots, but ultimately come off feeling like an SNL bit – a good gag stretched to a far too long degree.

  2. mike weber says:

    I don’t even find his concepts funny.