First Hit: This film was disappointing in all aspects.
There are funny moments in this film. In fact there are a few out loud laughing moments. But this shallow scripted film displays its weakness from the get go.
The feeling from the beginning is that I was watching a set of pointedly offensive gags strung together to make a film. True that the conceptual idea was pretty good and if Sacha Baron Cohen had done this film like he did Borat, which was more scriptless and being a character in the real world, it might have worked much better.
However, this wasn’t the approach with this film and I would guess this is because of the lawsuits that were brought against him after Borat when into the theaters. I was surprised that Ben Kingsley, as Dictator Aladeen’s right hand General Tamir, would even do this film. However, I did think Anna Faris as Zoey was fun and held and acted their character really well.
Cohen was occasionally funny and visually full of himself as Dictator Aladeen. I was shocked to see Kingsley in this film and felt embarrassed for him. Faris was one of the better aspects of this film. Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer wrote a mostly forgetful script with gags that were more than easily forgetful (think throwing a girl baby in the trash because she's a girl). Larry Charles directed this and probably did as well as he could do with such a weak script and Sacha Baron Cohen riding herd.
Overall: Most gigs and scenes were easily forgotten shortly after watching the film which means this film is forgettable.