It's been a few years since Sacha Baron Cohen has released a movie of his own, but 2016 has brought us The Brothers Grimsby (AKA Grimsby). This weekend, I went to the theater and gave SBC's latest flick a watch.
Cohen plays a working class football hooligan named Nobby Butcher that reconnects with his long lost secret agent brother. In spite of being torched by critics left and right, The Brothers Grimsby was actually a pretty good movie.
There's a strong blend of action and comedy with the classic Sasha Baron Cohen heaping spoonful of absurd nastiness. The movie opens with a particularly well choreographed first person action sequence. I was actually surprised by how well done the action scenes were throughout the tight 83 minute run time. The producers certainly spared no expense in making things as crazy and over the top as possible.
Of course, this being a Sasha Baron Cohen movie, there were plenty jokes, many of which push the envelope of basic human decency. Once scene that stands out in my memory involves an elephant and two men that need someplace to hide. I'll let you fill in the blanks from there, but I will say that it ends with the two men covered in a foreign substance that's white and sticky.
There are other scenes whose humor come from Nobby's bumbling attempts to be a secret agent. The writers take cracks at all of the classic spy tropes: gunplay, gadgets, and girls. Nobby tries his hand at these with varying degrees of success. A particularly funny scene has Nobby attempting to seduce an important target by adopting a Connery-esque accent and donning a silk robe. What nobody tells him is that the important target is actually just the maid trying to do her job.
Overall, I had a great time watching the Brothers Grimsby. Were some of the jokes off the mark? Yeah. Were some scenes depraved and disgusting? Of course. That's what you sign up for when Sasha Baron Cohen is the writer. But on the whole, I had a good viewing experience and left the theater satisfied. I can see why other people wouldn't enjoy this movie because it's definitely an esoteric subculture that Cohen is spotlighting. It's safe to say that most Americans know little to nothing about football hooligans. If you decide to sit down and give this a watch, I think you're gonna have a good time.