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Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Penelope Cruz & Isla Fisher
Directed by: Louis Feterrier
I rank Sacha Baron Cohen in high regard within the field of comedy. He’s dipped his toe in serious roles but comedy is his strong suit. His characters; Ali G, Bruno and Borat, are iconic. In the case of Ali G – Legendary (watch Ali G interviewing Posh & Becks, comedy gold right there!) Cohen is smart to know that he can’t continue with those characters in a reality based situation because everyone knows who they are and will instantly know that it’s a spoof. So he had to make new characters. Out of all that we got ‘The Dictator. My God, that film was hysterical. If you haven’t seen it, go and see it, I might even do a review on it, actually.
Grimsby sees Sacha portraying a layabout football hooligan. But what’s even more interesting is the inclusion of Mark Strong and Penelope Cruz. More about them in my final thoughts.
So as I said, Cohen is Norman ‘Nobby’ Butcher, a football hooligan from Grimsby who has everything that a man could want – 11 children and ‘the most attractive’ girlfriend in northern England. There’s one thing missing from his life: his younger brother, Sebastian. After they were adopted by different families as children, Nobby has spent years looking for his brother.
After a tip off from someone down his local, Nobby sets out to reunite with his brother, completely unaware that his brother is a top MI6 agent! After a botched mission, Sebastian is wrongfully accused and on the run. Sebastian realises that if he’s going to save the world, he will need the help of his brother!
I had low expectations of this film and I was pleasantly surprised about how funny this film actually is. If you’ve seen Cohen’s work in Ali G, Bruno and Borat, then you’ll know that all specialise in crude humour. This is no exception.
From Rebel Wilson fanny farting, to Nobby sucking poison from Sebastian’s bollocks, this film pushes the envelope at every opportunity.
Cohen is on top form, as you’d expect, and Mark Strong playing the straight man only adds more humour to certain scenes. The chemistry is so and so, but I’m prepared to overlook it. Weird to see Penelope Cruz in a dick and fart joke movie. I can’t help but wonder has she even been to Grimsby? Do you guys even think she’s heard of Grimsby before signing up to this film?
Now I’ve never been Grimsby but this film does paint a rather bad picture of it. There’s this one scene during the opening credits where we see a mile long queue outside the Job Centre, and a young child drinking a pint. A number of locals were angry with the way the city was portrayed and even went to lengths to boycott the film. I know it’s all tongue in cheek so it didn’t bother me too much, but had it been set in Newcastle (which was one of the few original locations along with Hull and Scunthorpe) I may have had a problem with it.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. It isn’t something that you need to rush out and see before it’s too late. It’s a fun dick and fart joke movie which is useful for passing the time.
It looks like Grimsby is another comedy highlight on Sacha Baron Cohen’s C.V
Rating: *** ½ (Aye, it’s cannie, like)