Sacha Baron Cohen Mandrake the Magician movie

Borat does Mandrake the Magician

Sitting through his latest juvenile attempt at comedy, “The Brothers Grimsby”, I wonder whatever happened to the spark of talent once possessed by Sacha Baron Cohen. Why waste it on drivel such as this  or his last few releases?

Our collective hopes of seeing him in something remotely good were dashed when he dropped out of the Queen/Freddy Mercury biopic. Looking at his IMDB profile there’s nothing noteworthy to report, until today.

For today we’ve received news that he’ll be donning the magicians tophat for a role in and as “Mandrake the Magician”.

Here’s a short introduction to the character from Wikipedia (sorry, I’m too lazy to summarize this myself):

Mandrake is a magician whose work is based on an unusually fast hypnotic technique. As noted in captions, when Mandrake “gestures hypnotically”, his subjects see illusions, and Mandrake has used this technique against a variety of villains including gangsters, mad scientists, extraterrestrials, and characters from other dimensions.

Mandrake, and the rest of the Kings Features Syndicate characters such as The Phantom and Flash Gordon, were a regular part of kids life thanks to their appearance in the comic strips of the Sunday papers. Man, I loved reading those. Not particularly the Kings comic strips but just these amazing panels which told varied stories in various genres. These days all I see are Dilbertesque comics.

I digress.

Though the idea of Cohen taking on a role outside of his usual adolescent characters and gross out style of humour is welcome the news gets derailed by the involvement of Etan Cohen (no relation, I presume). No not Coen. C – O – H – E – N.

“Who?”, you may ask. Writer of the disappointing “Tropic Thunder” and director of the equally forgettable Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart vehicle “Get Hard”. There’s no concrete proof that the makers will take the comedic route but the involvement of the two Cohen’s doesn’t instill much hope.

Such a waste if they go full on comedy. After all the characters of Kings Feature have the potential of forming a cohesive and organic shared universe (looking at you Hasbro) culminating in a “Defenders of the Earth” team-up.

Sacha Baron Cohen Mandrake the Magician Defenders of the Earth Flash Gordon The Phantom

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