By turns very funny and incredibly lazy, Sacha Baron Cohen doesn't let anything get in the way of bottom-of-the-barrel, gross-out/scatalogical/racial gags.
The plot's all over the place, as is Cohen's attention to his main character whose stupidity and ignorance varies according to the requirements of any given scene (a problem when the you can feel the plot pulling in different directions; Cohen’s instinct is for a more Airplane!-esque anarchy, but he straightjackets himself by attempting to follow a more formal structure, complete with romance and hero’s journey – however irreverent he is towards both such devices). The “message” of Aladeen’s keynote speech – that the US is the biggest dictatorship of all – manages to be both amusing and clumsy.
In some ways Aladeen is the weak link; Cohen fares better with his goat-loving double Efawadh. The supporting cast are all good value, from lovely Anna Faris (even uglied-down and hairied-up) to good sport Ben Kingsley (better used in the first half) and Jason Mantzoukas, who frequently steals scenes outright from Cohen. I enjoyed Ed Norton's micro-cameo too (although it's Bobby Lee's crude Mr Lao who made it work). Funniest scene is probably the 9/11 helicopter ride, but the masturbation montage and mammaries attack are also up there. As many gags fall flat though such as rewriting his language so Aladeen means both positive and negative, another concerning Morgan Freeman's severed head.