Hippie Romance + Terrorism Jokes = The New Trailer for The Dictator
The first trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator had Megan Fox and Kardashian jokes, but those pop culture touchstones have been replaced by Anna Faris and terrorism gags in the new, longer trailer. An upgrade? Eh, sure. Maybe. Or not: Faris's brunette pixie 'do does make her look particularly adorable, but juxtaposed with her natural poise Cohen comes off as a poor man's Adam Sandler. Like, hammy Zohan-lite Sandler.
Here's why Cohen's Dictator schtick hasn't really worked thus far, from the film footage that's been released: When Cohen is 100 percent in character -- clueless, masking any hint of self-awareness, as he was best in Borat or while Kim Jong-illing Ryan Seacrest recently at the Oscars -- he absolutely slays. That unapologetic ignorance is key, and that's how The Dictator seems to start out. But throw in those rom-com cliches and the lessons in humility and/or humanity that will surely come once Admiral General Aladeen falls for Faris's hippie love interest, redeems himself, etc. (as the trailers suggest he will) and he's instantly less interesting.
Is it too late to cut together a version of The Dictator made entirely of Obama footage, Aladeen at the Wadiya Olympics, and scenes of Cohen frightening bigoted Americans with his terrifying "otherness?" Because that's the movie I want after seeing all this learning lessons BS.