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'The Dictator' rides into Cannes on a camel (+video)

'The Dictator' aka Sacha Baron Cohen made another splashy entrance, arriving in character and on a camel at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Dictator aka Adm. Gen. Omar Aladeen, tyrant of the North African nation of Wadiya, at the Cannes Film Festival.
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"The Dictator" knows how to make a scene.

Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy character turned up at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday with two of his female model bodyguards and a camel, bringing the famed Croisette promenade to a standstill.

It's his latest stunt for "The Dictator," released May 16, where he plays Admiral General Aladeen, the freedom-hating military dictator of the fictional North African Republic of Wadiya.

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In The Christian Science Monitor's film critic, Peter Rainer, writes that "On the laughmeter “The Dictator” is closer to “Borat” than to the misfired “Bruno,” which is to say it’s funny for about half of its brisk 83 minutes. This time out Baron Cohen is working with a script and professional actors throughout (including Ben Kingsley as a Wadiyan big shot), and the lack of improvisation is somewhat stifling. He’s at his best and most daring when he’s riffing in unplanned situations."

Rainer adds that Baron Cohen "can be one of the funniest people on the planet, but he needs a real dictator – I mean, director – calling the shots."

In Cannes, Baron Cohen sat down and had tea with his camel. And the sight of Baron Cohen taking a camel for a stroll along the avenue of designer boutiques, followed by dozens of photographers, bemused locals. He even managed to fall off the camel, which had a "Wadiya 1" license plate.

Cannes Film Festival, which runs until May 27, is a popular place for promotional stunts.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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