After slaying international audiences with his Ali G and Borat characters, Sacha Baron Cohen's latest feature film The Dictator finds him in a new role as Admiral General Aladeen, the surprisingly lovable leader of the Republic of Wadiya. It's a comedy capable of inducing raucous laughs, particularly for people who recognize the sick humor in totalitarian regimes masquerading as democracies.
There might be some slight spoilers ahead, but without giving away too much of the film, here are the five lessons real tyrants could learn from the machinations -- or bumblings -- of Aladeen:
1. Change all key words in the mother tongue to be that of the leader's surname.
It might be a confusing (and frequently deadly) proposition to narrow down millions of terms to just the one, but starting your assertion of total dominance with the country's basic lexicon shows that you really mean business.
2. Make sure all weapons of mass destruction look as menacing as they actually are.
One simple tip to remember: Pointy corners on missiles are scary. Round ones, not so much.
3. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
Whether entering the depths of hell or a woman's birth canal, be prepared to leap into the trenches when duty calls. Or when anyone calls, really.
4. Sleep with as many Hollywood hookers as possible.
It will infuse power of immeasurable use in war. Plus, it fights off cases of the lonelies.
5. Kill 'em with kindness.
Be nice to people's faces and order their execution while they're not looking. Make like the O'Jays and be a backstabber. Surely, death is a bigger thrill when the victim isn't quite expecting it.
The Dictator opens in San Francisco on Wednesday (May 16) at Century San Francisco Centre and AMC Van Ness 14. Two special advance screenings take place tonight (May 15) at Century San Francisco Centre at 9 p.m. and 12:01 a.m.; reserve tickets via Fandango.