The Brothers Grimsby Thoughts
Yes I went to see Brothers Grimsby. Maybe I am what’s wrong with America but I will always respect Sacha Baron Cohen. His last 2 movies might have been misses but I think Brothers Grimsby was a step in the right direction. But to be fair, the movie is heavily flawed but it’s not downright awful. I found it to be entertaining. It even gets emotional at some points. The latter, which I did not see coming.
The Brothers Grimsby accomplishes what it sets out to do and that is to make you laugh. It’s a stupid comedy but with the ingenious/satire of Sacha Baron Cohen. Nobby is probably the least interesting character of Cohen collective but he’s still a funny character nonetheless. The real star of the movie is Mark Strong. He’s absolutely terrific and dedicated to the role. He’s the ultimate straight man and I don’t think this movie would have been strong without him. There are so many moments with Mark Strong that make me go wow this guy is crazy. Especially the climax, that was outrageous.
Most of the movie is pretty clever, it’s good satire on the soccer hooligan culture but some of the jokes might come off way too British oriented and that might alienate American audiences. I honestly think British humor is great and I wasn’t too fazed by the soccer jokes. I found them quite hilarious even with my obscure soccer knowledge. To top it off, usually when comedies do action scenes, they’re rarely good but the action sequences in this are quite entertaining. I liked that Sacha casted martial artist Scott Adkins’ in the movie but I was frustrated that they took out the “I disagree Ukrainian Ben Affleck” line for something a bit more serious. Crazy enough, like I mentioned before, the movie gets really emotional with the flashbacks. I even got a little teary at some parts of it. I think a lot of the writing Sacha went with this film shows how versatile his talent is and I think he’s capable of a lot of great things in the future if he fully utilizes his magnificent talent.
Even though it has moments of goodness, the film is bogged down by a couple of flaws. What plagued his last 2 efforts were the juvenile jokes. Some of them are so dumb, that you wonder why they would put that in the movie. Like Nobby’s attraction to dirty overweight women (the awful Rebel Wilson) or him picking supermodels over maids. Nobby is a grounded character than the other Cohen characters. He’s not absurdly dumb but still dumb to an extent. What I liked about Nobby was that he felt more normal but there would be scenes where they would make Nobby do things that are out of characteristic or make him dumber than he really is. That’s why some jokes would fall flat. Now you’re probably thinking the infamous elephant scene is one of those stupid juvenile jokes. Stupid? Definitely. Unnecessary? Definitely. Gross? Absolutely Yes. But it was somehow outrageously funny. There’s another recurring gag with aids & a kid and it’s so freaken cruel but somehow it’s funny in a twisted manner. The payoff with that joke at the end makes it worth it. I think the humor lies mostly between the banter with the Grimsby brothers & their interactions with other characters. Not the physical gags or story. There are so many great lines throughout the movie.
As for the story itself, it suffers from really bad pacing. You’ll always hear the critique that a movie suffers from slow pacing but sometimes a fast pace is just as bad. That’s what Grimsby suffers from. The movie moves way too fast. There’s no development with the plot. It’s doesn’t relish in the mystery. It just keeps going forward and forward without taking a step to slow down. For example, when Nobby & Sebastian first meet, no time is taken to get the brothers acquainted again. The movie moves forward and the characters already accept each other’s flaws as if they already know each other. And the villain is revealed out of nowhere towards the end without a clear motivation or build up. Thus why this movie is so short, it’s trying to rush to the end and it completes itself in an hour & 20 minutes which is really rare for a live action movie. And the movie suddenly ends with a minute long epilogue. Post Credits scene was awesome though. It’s always good to cut out the fluff but sometimes cutting out way too much can damage your movie as well.
Grimsby isn’t a movie for everyone. It certainly won’t win any awards and it might not be recognized as one of the greatest comedies ever but that doesn’t diminish the movie’s quality. It’s a funny movie and a fun one. It’s got clever jokes (I love how Nobby is a knock on one of my most hated musicians, Liam Gallagher aka John Lennon reincarnated), it’s got good action sequences and the climax is a blast. It has its flaws that are noticeable and that might ruin the movie for you but if you understand Sacha Baron Cohen as a person and like his brand of humor then you might find delight in this movie. It certainly is an improvement over Bruno & The Dictator but it’s not at the same level as Borat or Da Ali G Show. I do recommend it if you’re looking for a light comedy and the film didn’t deserve to bomb at the box office like it did. It was nowhere the travesty Zoolander 2 was.