The Brothers Grimsby is a funny and completely ridiculous film from the mind that brought us Ali G, Borat and Bruno – Sacha Baron Cohen.
As expected, Baron Cohen’s follow-up to The Dictator is even more absurd. It’s full of crass and often vile humour, which should appeal to fans of his past work whereas everyone else may be turned off. It’s the type of humour that you’ll either love or hate, which is fine as Baron Cohen has built a successful career out of it.
As boys, brothers Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Sebastian (Mark Strong) were inseparable. Hailing from the town of Grimsby in the UK, the young brothers were separated and fast forward twenty-eight years, Nobby is still living in Grimsby with eleven children, while Sebastian is working as a spy for MI-5. When Nobby finds Sebastian after so many years, he accidentally compromises one of Sebastian’s missions, which sends them on a dangerous adventure across the world whilst rekindling their lost brotherhood.
The plot of the film is quite thin and a basic spy story, but the story is the last reason you’re there to watch this film.
After making a career of delivering some classic characters such as Ali G and Borat, Baron Cohen brings us Nobby in The Brothers Grimsby. Nobby is a stereo-typical, English football-hooligan type who isn’t as intriguing as some of Baron Cohen’s earlier characters and may not end up having as much of an impact, however he nails the performance.
Mark Strong does the spy-role justice as Sebastian and he handles the humour well. The two leads have the right amount of chemistry to make their on-screen relationship work well and the two young child actors that play them in flashbacks are also excellent. Rebel Wilson is great as Nobby’s girlfriend, however Isla Fisher, Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz are mostly wasted in their roles.
The Brothers Grimsby is directed by Louis Leterrier, whose past credits include Now You See Me and Clash of the Titans. He’s a director that handles action well and proves so again here, with a couple of especially well-directed first-person action scenes in the film that deserve a mention.
Sacha Baron Cohen is back to his old tricks in Grimsby, upping the ante on the comedy more than ever before. Anyone familiar with his work knows he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the crudeness of his humour and it’s no different in this case, in fact he takes it to the next level. The comedy is a bit hit and miss, but when it does hit the mark, it’s hilarious.
The film is available now on iTunes.
Guy Pearce, Clive Owen, Colin Farrell were all considered for the role of MI6 agent Commander Sebastian Graves which in the end was cast with actor Mark Strong. According to England’s Telegraph newspaper, “it seems Farrell turned down the role”.