Admiral General Aladeen, a dictator from the fictional North African country, is an obvious nod to Muammar Gaddafi, although he describes himself as the last in a long line of fallen dictators: “Kim, Gaddafi, Saddam, Cheney”.
The film’s narrative twist comes when Aladeen has his identity stolen by his body-double and suddenly finds himself alone and beardless in New York, where he meets a vegan-feminist grocer, Zoey (Anna Faris). She invites her ‘prisoner of war’ to the liberal hotbed of Brooklyn, where romance blossoms amid endless riffs on Aladeen wanting to sleep with her because she looks like a little boy.
Don’t worry, he still ridicules your ‘typical American’ – one particular scene that mocks 9/11 pushes the envelope. The film’s downfall is that the running jokes about rape, women and Jews run thin. Although the film isn’t overly long, the recycled Baron Cohen jokes make it feel like déjà vu. It all becomes a bit stagey, like Borat in the General Aladeen’s clothes, although Megan Fox’s cameo as a high-class escort who refuses payment for an all-night cuddle is a rare highlight.
In parts, the film tries in vain to moonlight as a political satire, but once you strip away the wall-to-wall offensiveness, there’s not much of a film left.
Verdict: 2.5 stars