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Baron Cohen Bombs (On At Least One Joke)

Baron Cohen Bombs (On At Least One Joke)

To the comic who brought us “Throw The Jews Down The Well,” it is already clear that very little, if anything is sacred.

That’s why you generally wouldn’t expect to be jarred by anything in a Sacha Baron Cohen film filled with over-the-top lewdness, gross-out sight gags and what some have decried as Arab stereotypes.

Still, while his latest film, “The Dictator” has some hilarious moments, the friends I saw it with this weekend agreed that one brief scene was too offensive to be funny.

That’s the one where Cohen’s Aladeen, seen luxuriating in his palace, plays a custom made Nintendo Wii game that allows him to pick various terror scenarios, including the Achille Lauro hijacking and the massacre at the Munich Olympics.

After selecting the latter, Aladeen is seen joyously gunning down Israeli athletes after they answer the door to their dormitory room – a morbidly accurate recreation of the real 1972 violence (though played out with comical avatars).

I get that Cohen was trying to lampoon the fanatical hatred of terrorists and their supporters. But as demonstrated by the refusal of the International Olympics Committee to consider a moment of silence for the victims, the rest of the world already treats this depraved incident too cavalierly.

Forty years after the Munich massacre it’s too soon to be making jokes. And it will also be too soon forty years from now.

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