I’ve decided that for this entire review, I’m going to do nothing but make unintelligible noises and disgusting edgy jokes that add nothing to what I’m trying to say. Blah. Glahrg. Imagine a cow shitting on your Nan. Who would you rather sleep with, The Queen or Bill Cosby? Gleep. Zeezlezorp. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a good movie. I bet it would feel great to have a horn up my arse.
Oh what, are you not liking this? Is it possible that you actually want some engagement and some substance in the media you choose to view? Well I apologise, you see, I’m just trying to copy what Sacha Baron Cohen does for the entirety of Grimsby. It works for him, why can’t it work for me? Well, that’s a lie. It doesn’t work for him at all, because Grimsby is an unforgivably horrible film that will test your patience and push you to the edge of insanity.
Nobby (Cohen) is a working class football hooligan who lives in Grimsby with his wife (Rebel Wilson) and his nine children. His brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong), is a highly skilled secret agent who is nothing like his sibling. After 28 years apart, the pair are reunited, much to Nobby’s delight and Sebastian’s horror, as Sebastian finds himself accused of an assassination attempt. Together, they set out to clear his name and save the world.
I think this film gave me writer’s block, because it’s taken me far too long to have any idea where to start with this. I….I just don’t know. Alright, let’s start with the cast. Listen to these names: Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Isla Fisher, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane. These are all good actors. Why the fuck are they in this film? How did so many highly revered actors look at this film and go “This is a good idea”? Beyond that, they’re all horribly underused because Cohen’s ridiculously unfunny lead character is the heart of everything. Mark Strong is an actor I would never want to accuse of phoning it in, but there is pretty much no effort in this performance whatsoever. At no point in the film does he react to anything the way should be, the way that he’s supposed to be based on what he says and does. Things go horribly wrong for him but you’d think it was all just a minor inconvenience. Rebel Wilson puts on a horrible Northern accent, Isla Fisher is just…there, and Ian McShane is by far one of the most unnecessary castings of a popular actor I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely absurd how good this cast is, and how terrible the film is.
The film’s major downfall is the things that it passes off as “humour”. Every single joke in this film is a joke you’ve seen before several times, in much funnier ways; 90% of the film is Nobby misunderstanding what people say to him, or badly timed lines. For example, at the beginning when a young boy talks about having HIV and how much longer he has to live, and Nobby cheering because of the football results. Then there’s a scene where he’s supposed to seduce a woman in a green dress, though he thinks it’s one of the maids, and that maid thinks he wants his room cleaned. Meanwhile, he takes a hit and clogs the toilet, and calls down to the lobby of the hotel. Then the actual woman comes up and he assumes she’s the plumber ,and she’s talking about many sexy things while he thinks she’s talking about his poo. God, I wanted to cry just typing that. This is by far one of the laziest comedies ever made.
Not only do you have jokes recycled from everywhere, you have awful parodies too. The spy scenes are a rubbish version of Bourne, and all the scenes at Nobby’s house are just a shit version of Shameless. Bourne is debatable, but the latter is blatantly a rip off of the show. If you want a good spy parody, watch Spy or Austin Powers or pretty much anything else. If you want something like Shameless....Well, just watch Shameless. Thing is, some of the jokes in the film are actually amusing, like when Nobby is introducing Seb to his children and says that his newborn baby is named Django Unchaind. It’s so random that it deserves to belong in a better film.
The absolute worst aspects of the film are the edgy, disgusting, over the top scenes that are utterly baffling and ridiculous, and not in a good way. Comedies can be amazing when they get rude and ridiculous, but this just takes the moldy biscuit. I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about the elephant scene, and let me tell you, it’s exactly as bad as you think it is. The ridiculous humour is all just entirely unnecessary; maybe it’s unfair to say that about a film like this, since it’s based on all this absurd humour that isn’t supposed to be groundbreaking or all time best, but it’s not even funny. It’s so revolting and cringy that it doesn’t come anywhere close to being entertaining. Then there’s some material that’s edgy and offensive, like a young boy with HIV being shot in the shoulder, and his Aids infected blood flying into the mouth of Daniel Radcliffe, who then gets HIV.
It just feels like Cohen and the other writers just sat there thinking that they were absolutely geniuses for that bit, because it was so over the top and preposterous that it just had to be funny, like they deserve credit for “going there” when in actuality all they’ve done is make something absurdly unbearable. Then, of course, you have Nobby having to suck poison out of his brother’s testicle, and people walking in on them when it looks like they’re having sex is not just another over-used joke, it’s also just putrid.
There’s absolutely no subtlety to this film whatsoever; the foreshadowing is so obvious. Again, maybe it’s unfair to accuse a film like this of not being subtle, but everything that gets introduced, you just know it’s going to be used later on. Everything is just so blatant. And nothing in this film is developed. At 83 minutes long, every single story is nowhere near fleshed out, including the crucial one about how the brothers were separated. The flashbacks are shoddy, poorly placed and just add nothing to this relationship.
If, like me, you’ve always wanted to see Rebel Wilson shirtless, then that is quite literally the one silver lining that this film might have. Beyond that, Grimsby fails to achieve anything it sets out to do; it wastes an amazing cast with absurd, nauseating jokes that have absolutely zero effect on the film other than damaging it, and a constant sense of the filmmakers trying desperately hard to be scandalous. It’s a horrid, revolting, inexcusable piece of so-called cinema hit that could easily be the worst film of 2016. Avoid this film at all costs. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get a new set of eyes: These ones have seen Grimsby, and therefore are forever ruined.
GRIMSBY IS OUT ON DVD & BLU-RAY NOW!