Grimsby (2016)

A new assignment forces a top spy to team up with his football hooligan brother.

Directed by Louis Leterrier
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Isla Fisher

The second feature in a single day to feature the talents of Rebel Wilson. Fortunately, we don’t get quite so much time to appreciate the talents in question, seeing as she is a bit player here, propping up Sacha Baron Cohen’s character of Nobby, as wife and mother to his seemingly countless children. Still, her portrayal is just as convincing as every other one we’ve seen so far, so ho-hum.
If you don’t know what to expect when you hear about a new movie starring one of Cohen’s creations, then you’re in a for what is most likely to be an unpleasant shock. If you do know, then this will come as no surprise whatsoever. If anything though, this is probably less offensive than you might have been anticipating. Don’t get me wrong, this is foul, of course, just not ‘watch through your fingers’ distasteful quite so often.
After Borat, Bruno and The Dictator, audiences have come to expect a certain amount of depravity from Cohen, and you rarely feel that he does it to make us laugh, but more to cause a stir, upset the applecart and become notorious for doing things that other film-makers dare not. This is true, of course, but maybe for different reasons than he may imagine. Other people really don’t make movies like he does because most people don’t like them. It’s not that no-one else capable of doing so, but most choose not to because, well, urgh.
His movies continue to find audiences, however, even if each subsequent project proves a law of diminishing returns. After Bruno, which I spent a very uncomfortable afternoon in a room watching with three other movie journalists, pre-release, it started to become apparent quite quickly, that from a cinematic perspective at least, he was something of a one-trick pony. I have yet to have my mind changed since and now, again, I am left rolling my eyes and tutting quietly to myself the way only an honest Brit with a nagging problem can.

Following the adventures of Nobby (Cohen) as he goes about trying to track down his long-lost brother Sebastian (Mark Strong) who has since become an international super-spy, having left Nobby and the town of Grimsby far behind him many decades earlier through an act of kindness which proves to be one of the few hgh points of an evening littered with so many low ones, we are treated to a very British comedy crime caper. The jokes offered mostly revolve around football and arseholes, and often both at once. The tried and tested ineptitude and idiocy of the standard caricatured Englishman when taken out of his comfort zone is uppermost and the only real surprises come with the lengths Cohen and company are prepared to go to, in order to turn your stomach and wonder why you agreed to sit down in front of it in the first place.

At seventeen, I may have laughed in places, but even then I imagine it will have been a stretch, but at forty-seven? Well, sorry, but just no. Puerile, unimaginative lunacy with elephant sex jokes. Horrible, truly truly, horrible. God alone knows what Mark Strong was thinking when he agreed to this.

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