The interesting thing about Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, Grimsby – a British Spy spoof about a Secret Service agent who accidentally reconnects with his long-lost ned/chav brother – is that it has polarised reviewer opinion. Some are singing its praises, while others are offering their strongest recommendations to avoid it.
But then comedy is a subjective beast.
So I suppose you can’t really trust a review without knowing your sense of humour reflects that of the author.
But what the hell, eh; you may as well read on to see what I thought about it anyway.
As it turns out, I thought Grimsby was surprisingly funny.
Though I’ve never seen any of Cohen’s previous output, and so definitely had reservations going in, I laughed all the way through.
Is it sophisticated, Sorkin-esque humour? Absolutely not; it’s about as crude as you can get, with an anal fixation, children swearing, the occasional bit of slapstick, Daniel Radcliffe accidentally getting HIV, dogs being thrown out of windows and some incredible scenes involving sucking out poison and hiding inside an elephant.
But at the same time it didn’t feel crude for the sake of it.
No, Grimsby was actually quite clever, with the laughs being propped up by a storyline that – while pretty straight forward and riddled with exposition – made sense and didn’t over-stay its welcome in the 84 minutes the movie lasted.
And though it made fun of the sort of benefit scrounging layabouts – or as they were labelled during the movie, ‘Scum’ – that are so rife in certain sections of the UK, it did it in a playful enough way that you could either laugh at the characters or with them.
Ultimately then, whether Grimsby is for you or not depends upon your sense of humour. If the sort of thing I listed above tickles your fancy then you’ll have a great time.
If not, save your time and money because I doubt you’ll enjoy it.