This week we’re taking a look at Sascha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy character as the man behind Ali G and Borat takes on the spy movie genre in Grimsby.
Baron Cohen plays Grimsby resident Norman “Nobby” Butcher, the kind of character who might emerge from the fevered dreams of a Daily Mail-reading Jeremy Kyle addict.
He’s a lager-swilling layabout with an ever expanding brood and a kebab machine in the kitchen.
He’s also the older brother of smooth super-spy Sebastian, played by Mark Strong.
Separated during childhood, the two have taken very different paths in life but it isn’t long until they are flung together and caught up in an international plot.
What follows is a non-stop assault on taste. Nobby and Sebastian jet around the world from one exotic location to another, unfailingly getting into situations which are designed for maximum gross-out effect.
Toilet humour, elephant reproduction, and England getting to a World Cup final – the film unleashes a stream of ludicrous events. Often the jokes fall flat but when they do hit the target they are very funny, if difficult to watch.
Baron Cohen has a talent for inhabiting every character he creates and it’s no different here; dodgy accent aside, he pulls off a memorable performance.
The exuberance of Nobby’s yobbishness is perfectly matched by the stoicism of Mark Strong’s Sebastian, who proves to be very game as the straight-man of the duo.
The plot, such as it is, makes very little sense but that doesn’t really matter as it is little more than a scaffolding for the outrageous jokes. The target of these jokes range from the type of “Benefits Street” style programming which revels in poverty to, rather unfairly, Daniel Radcliffe.
Grimsby is not a subtle film, and a lot of it is pretty rubbish.
However, if you are able to stomach some of the more graphic moments in the movie it does have the ability to shock a few big laughs out of you.