FILM REVIEW: GRIMSBY (15)

Acclaimed comedy guru Sacha Baron Cohen pushes the boundaries of taste once again in raucous actioner Grimsby.


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Fans would argue it simply does what it says on the tin, so if that’s the case, you’ll probably have no complaints – but the jokes seem to get more ‘near the knuckle’ as its plot gets more ‘wacky’ during the second half of its relatively short run-time.

If you’re looking for something that may have seemed like last year’s Kingsman: The Secret Service on paper – but just a little bit cruder – Grimsby goes dramatically beyond that, and not always in a good way.

See hotel ‘excrement’ and elephant ‘humping’ scenes for proof.

A new assignment forces Mark Strong’s top secret black-ops agent Sebastian Butcher to team up with his idiotic long-lost football hooligan brother Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) – after they’re re-united after 28 years apart.

Now the perfect spy – brought up in a completely different world to the beer-swilling, drug-taking and benefit-scrounging stereotype Nobby – must go off the radar in his brother’s home town of Grimsby, which definitely doesn’t do the fishing port’s image any favours.

Let’s put it this way, saying it has been twinned with Chernobyl won’t win any fans with the local tourist board.

So, after spending some time with Nobby’s family – including his girlfriend Lindsay (Pitch Perfect’s Rebel Wilson) and massive offspring – Sebastian must then re-group for the ultimate mission, with the help of his hapless sibling.

With an all-star cast that includes Isla Fisher, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane (along with a whole host of familiar British TV faces), Grimsby still offers the odd flash of ingenuity – like the Call of Duty-esque first-person set-pieces – and undoubtedly some notable comedic highlights, as long as you can leave your ‘brain at the door’.

But its crudeness matches its unrealistic plotting – England reach the World Cup final for ‘Pete’s Sake’ (how unrealistic is that?) – and therefore is primarily for cinema-goers who want to gorge on ‘gross out’ humour.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – so add an extra mark if you do.

CAST: SACHA BARON COHEN, MARK STRONG, REBEL WILSON, PENELOPE CRUZ, ANNABELLE WALLIS, SCOTT ADKINS, TAMSIN EGERTON, JOHNNY VEGAS, RICKY TOMLINSON, SAM HAZELDINE, GABOUREY SIDIBE, JOHN THOMSON & IAN McSHANE

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 23 MINS

DIRECTOR: LOUIS LETERRIER

Gavin Miller

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