As much as I love Sacha, 'The Brothers Grimsby' is Grim Indeed
The Brothers Grimsby starts with a bang, or rather with Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) banging his wife Dawn in a mattress store. Nobby is white trash from the slummy town of Grimsby, a fictional town full of garbage, pubs, and poor English folk.
It becomes clear in the first 15 minutes, soon after an orchestrated scene in which Nobby successfully launches a firework from his asshole during a drinking celebration at a bar, that this movie centers largely on physical raunch comedy. After just one weekend at the box office this film flopped faster than Sacha Baron Cohen’s balls on the screen, and it was no wonder that I had the theater all to myself. Though, to be fair, it was a Monday matinee.
After searching for almost 30 years for his brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong), a local learns that Nobby’s missing sibling has been spotted at a “fancy” event, and after gliding into an upscale charity gala in shabby sportswear with no class whatsoever, he spots Sebastian, an M16 agent, attempting to stop an assassination. Nobby, however, is a football fan from a small fishing town who has given a few of his nine children names such as Skeletor, Gangnum Style and Django Unchained. Needless to say, you can imagine that the entire assassination setup goes completely awry. After Sebastian is blamed for the chaos, he must team up with his dumbass brother and attempt to clear his name.
This movie did make me feel better about the whole “people of Walmart” vibe the U.S. sends out to the rest of the world, because I guess there are idiots everywhere. When I hear “England” I mostly think of teacups and the queen, so it was refreshing to see people with British accents pissing in public and yelling at cops for once. The story took quite an Ace Ventura turn once they got hot on the trail of the wanted assassin, and although Nobby had a couple of chuckle-worthy one-liners, and entertaining mockeries of Harry Potter and Donald Trump, it wasn’t enough for the ride all the way home. This is hard to say considering I really love Sacha Baron Cohen and the work he’s done up until now – it just may be that the slapstick doesn’t exactly land as well as his more comedic mockumentaries.
There is some semblance of heartfelt ideas underneath the anal jokes that focuses on adoption, socioeconomic status and even gentrification. But Nobby Butcher shows such joy in being a broke-ass schlub that he makes it seem as if the rest of us should have nothing to complain about. He even gives a riling speech about “scum,” in reference to himself and the brethren of his crappy port town in order to encourage his band of fat, shoddy hooligans to storm the field.
The general avoidance of the movie as a topic of discussion when Sacha made the press rounds in previous weeks should have been indicative that, unfortunately, this movie is just nothing worth talking about.
The Brothers Grimsby (2016) Review