Grimsby (2016)

Red Card Deserved

Director: Louis Leterrier
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Penélope Cruz, Isla Fisher, Gabourey Sidibe, Ian McShane

For a film that's labelled as an action comedy, it's worrying when you're left uncertain which aspect was handled worse. But that's the unfortunate circumstance the latest Sacha Baron Cohen starrer has left us with.

Living with 9 children and his girlfriend (Rebel Wilson), Football supporter Nobby Butcher (Sacha Baron Cohen) is content with his life in Grimsby (twinned with Chernobyl). The one thing missing is his younger brother, who he's spent 28 years searching for. Upon discovering his whereabouts, Nobby seeks to reunite with Sebastian (Mark Strong), who now works as an assassin for MI6. Their reunion leads to Sebastian being falsely accused, and forced to go on the run with his brother.

Considering his films have relied on computer effects and action, Louis Leterrier was a curious choice to team up with the Borat star. Comedy is a genre he hasn't really ventured into, and it would've been better had it remained that way. The attempts to bring laughs rely on gross out gags, each feeling forced and lacking any resemblance of effort. The most notable moment will gross out even the biggest fans of Elephants, feeling like a Jackass stunt thrown on the scrap pile. The action fares no better, being best described as an incomprehensible mess. This fault lies in the filming techniques, which bear a strong resemblance to somebody shaking a magic eight ball.

Nobby Butcher is the latest attempt at Baron Cohen creating a new character, a football hooligan with a penchant for celebrating with fireworks up his bum. It'd be a forgettable character, had he not made an infuriating impression. The fact of the matter is, this buffoonish creation is responsible for a good amount of the problems occurring in the film. Sebastian is more successful in being forgettable, as his only characterization lies in the heavy-handed backstory shared between brothers.

At the very least, it can be said that Mark Strong and Sacha Baron Cohen go all out with their performances. It's unfortunate that's all worth mention in regards to the acting, as they're the only cast members who weren't underutilised. This is rather disappointing, especially when you have so many talented actors portraying the most generic of archetypes.

To devote 83 minutes of your time towards Grimsby is painful. Suffering from unintelligible action and weak attempts at comedy, it isn't helped how the plot hinges on the idiotic lead doing so many things wrong. Unless you desire viewing a poorly made CG Donald Trump getting HIV, you're better off not seeing this.