REVIEW: ‘GRIMSBY’ IS A BAD TASTE COMEDY OF EPIC PROPORTIONS


Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong

There are some cinematic moments that stay with you long after you’ve witnessed them and, surprisingly, ‘Grimsby’ unleashes one such unforgettable sequence – involving the ejaculate of an elephant no less – that you will most likely fail to remember anything else this film presented throughout its scant 80 minute runtime.

A bad taste comedy of epic proportions, Sacha Baron Cohen looks to out-gross his own back catalogue (‘Borat’, ‘Bruno’, ‘The Dictator’) with this juvenile, offensive film which will undoubtedly test the patience, and moral codes, of its unsuspecting audience.  Under the guidance of proven action director Louis Leterrier (‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘The Transporter’, ‘Now You See Me’) ‘Grimsby’ is an odd mix of a violent spy outing, a James Bond spoof, and an immature teen-aimed comedy that can’t help but execute all of its gags with a punchline that’s likely to evoke a name-same reaction from its viewers.

The plot (if it even matters) follows Nobby (Cohen), an extremely fertile lower-class Grimsby resident, who has been holding out for the return of his long-lost brother for over 25-years following their separation as children.  As to be expected in a film that banks its humour on its fish-out-of-water premise, Nobby’s brother is MI6 agent Sebastian Butcher (Mark Strong) and when the two meet in the most unconventional fashion they are forced to work together to uncover an unlikely act of terrorism.

Despite a hefty supporting cast that includes Rebel Wilson (as Nobby’s girlfriend), Isla Fisher (as Sebastian’s assistant), Penelope Cruz (as a sinister philanthropist) and Gabourey Sibide (as a waitress mistaken for a seductress in one of the film’s many outrageous set pieces) it’s Cohen and Strong that play with the strongest (?) material; Cohen playing his role with a surprising bout of sweetness and Strong’s straight man in the madness unrelenting in his conviction.  There are also a set of amusing cameos from Daniel Radcliffe and Donald Trump (though disclaimers assure us it isn’t them) which receive the most fitting of pay-offs.

‘Grimsby’ is the kind of film you know you shouldn’t laugh at, it’s unbelievably disgusting and in no way witty or topical like Cohen’s past ventures, but there’s an audience for this type of comedy and I dare say they will lap it up in spades – just make sure you shower afterwards.

Grimsby is in cinemas now.