Length: 83 minutes
Main Cast: Sasha Baron Cohen
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Directed By: Louis Leterrier
Written By Nelson Cumming
I have never seen a film where I have been at a loss for words, more so I have never seen a film where I was at a loss for words and I didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Grimsby is a film that will have its fans and if you are a fan of Sasha Baron Cohen you will like this, the rest will hate it with a passion. Grimsby really put me on a rollercoaster ride that I am not entirely sure I wanted to take. All of the comedy involved really gross-out gags were filled with over-the-top shock value. These gross-out gags had hits and misses. I laughed so hard are the gags that worked and I was completely disgusted at the gags that didn’t work. There has not been a film since Jackass where a film has done that to me. This film is a real question mark to me.
Nobby (Sasha Baron Cohen) is a British football fanatic whose brother Sebastian (Mark Strong) is a secret agent. Estranged for 28 years, Nobby finds his brother in the middle of a mission and botches the mission. Nobby and his brother now have to stop the bad guys from spreading this contagious disease from killing people around the world as a form of population control. This plot, however, does not really matter because the film is essentially loaded with so many gags that it deterred me from the plot. I could even say the film lost the plot on several occasions (pun intended).
The way these brothers bond is let’s just say, questionable at best. There are some gags with them being a little too up close and personal. Some of those gags worked well and some didn’t. The time it worked the best was arguably in the film’s climax to which I laughed and laughed and laughed. The time it did not work involved the use of elephants, a lot of elephants. That one gag was so completely and utterly gross I actually considered walking out on this film. That scene was just so horrible and disgusting that I care too much for the reader to describe the horror. This sort of affirms that Sasha Baron Cohen is more than willing to go over the top again and again to the point of complete desensitization, which is not exactly a good thing to be doing.
Despite this, there were numerous gags that were so edgy but so funny I could not help laughing, which I am not ashamed to admit. Sasha Baron Cohen has the ability to make his characters charming enough to warrant and justify his morbid humour. All of the humour completely relied on his character’s delivery and when it delivered it was great.
It is hard to give an example because to simply explain those gags, people would think I am just completely heartless. But this is probably his mildest gag: He has 12 children and some of their names are Django Unchained, Gangnam Style and Luke which is short for leukemia which Nobby falsely claims his child has to gain free medical insurance. This is about a family friendly Grimsby gets. It has the shock value spectrum between false claims of a child with leukemia to a vile and putrid elephant scene that nearly derailed the whole movie.
So, if you are not into Sasha Baron Choen as a comedian, do not see this. There were people who walked out and I don’t blame them. However I am a fan of Baron Cohen films and I had a certain tolerance level to him, but even then he really pushed the envelope and committed to it, which is a brave thing to do. The problem is he has a tendency to push that envelope too far sometimes. Despite this, there were parts that were funny enough to stay in my seat. ***