The Dictator is finally here.
After months of travelling around the world, flanked by an entourage of scantily-clad, obviously female 'soldiers' and carefully offending wherever he goes to promote his film, the self-esteemed General Admiral has finally presented himself on screen at the World Premiere in London, where he was joined by an eclectic bunch of guests.
Off-screen, he's obviously made his presence known, and Sacha Baron Cohen has undoubtedly added another formidable character to his already impressive list of Ali G, Borat and Bruno. But can the Dictator walk the walk on screen?
Here's a quick round-up of some of the first reviews...
The official tag-line: "The story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed..."
The Guardian - **** "It is less edgy than Baron Cohen's previous two films, featuring big, conventionally contrived gags and a colossal central turn from the man himself... It delivers laughs and weapons-grade offensiveness... gasp-inducingly offensive, but basically this is a firework display of bad taste, calculated to be as silly as possible. The Dictator isn't going to win awards and it isn't as hip as Borat. Big goofy outrageous laughs is what it has to offer."
The Telegraph - ***
"Sacha Baron Cohen's new film The Dictator could easily be mistaken for a gross-out comedy, but it’s a little cleverer than that... Much of the humoursprings from Aladeen’s incendiary awfulness, but because this time the people around him are actors, the stakes are noticeably lower than they were in Brüno or Borat... But where the film really succeeds is in its embrace of the grotesque... most are invigoratingly offensive in one way or another, and there are a handful of moments that deserve to endure."
Daily Mail - *****
"There are gross-out gags, but much of the script is unfashionably sophisticated. It even finds room in the final scenes for genuinely telling satire at the expense of 'democrats' who allow too many infringements on our liberties... This is not only a very funny film, it’s a surprisingly deft political satire. I very much doubt if there will be a funnier movie this year."
Digital Spy - ****
"Aladeen's personal transformation lends the film a heartfelt touch that's missing from Borat and Bruno, but those fearing that Cohen has gone soft need not panic - the comedy is as outrageous and close to the bone as you'd expect... Never as relentlessly funny as Borat (jokes with Megan Fox and Edward Norton miss the mark), yet it packs a sharp satirical edge that's almost unprecedented for a mainstream studio-funded Hollywood comedy."
The Dictator welcomes his eclectic bunch of guests to the film's world premiere at London's Royal Festival Hall, with another unquiet entrance himself...