Review: Grimsby (2016)

Other | Monday 29th February 2016 | Sam

Grimsby (dir. Louis Letterier) Spy | Action | Comedy

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane.

The obvious thing to do when reviewing Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest feature film is to criticise. That has become the case with all comedies released nowadays; reviewers often presume that their sense of humour is either superior to everyone else’s or a representation of the average British person… the truth is, everyone has a very different sense of humour. If the film isn’t artistic or a deeply intricate piece of satire, then 9 out of 10 reviewers chuck it in on the trash heap. Maybe the only way to become a successful film critic is to adopt a stern sense of humour, only laughing at middle class problems.

Nobby (Baron Cohen) is split from his younger brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong) very early in his life when the latter is adopted by a family from London. Years later, Nobby has countless kids, and overweight wife and lives in a council flat, Sebastian has a posh accent and a job as a secret agent. When the two meet again, everything goes to shit for the rather cantankerous Sebastian as the incredibly stupid, yet incredibly Nobby messes with his life, making them both public enemy number one. Now this may seem very stereotypical of the classic view of northerners from the southern perspective, and perhaps vice versa, but that is, of course, one of the easiest ways to make characters recognisable.

Looking past Baron Cohen’s pretty dreary attempt at a Grimsby accent, there are countless gags throughout the film that are bound to make you squeal with laughter. Most of which revolve around bodily fluids such as shit, piss and precum. It is, admittedly, pretty basic comedy, but why else would you be going to see a Sacha Baron Cohen scripted movie? Surely you’re not expecting a deeply intellectual comedy dissecting the Islamic State or Global Warming in a way that everyone can relate to?

If you are looking for a film that will make you laugh, make you feel sick, and make you squirm in your seat in horror at some of the cringey moments crafted by the creator of Ali G and Borat, you are going to love Grimsby. If you want to see Ricky Tomlinson and Johnny Vegas get their tits out for the lads, you’ll love Grimsby, and if you’re keen on seeing Donald Trump contract AIDS, you’ll love Grimsby. If you are looking for anything more than that, may I suggest you go back to your Woody Allen boxset.

(I’ve intentionally not revealed the plot in this review as there are some bits which I don’t want to ruin for you… trust me, they’re worth not knowing about beforehand.)