The Brothers Grimsby is a new path for Sacha Baron Cohen. Instead of giving us a narcissistic Borat, Bruno, or Ali G, his Nobby is a likable character: family man, loyal brother, wasted England fan, and unlikely action hero. That is, when Cohen isn’t delivering his usual shtick of male sex organs and anal violation.
Before they were separated as boys, Nobby and Sebastian (Mark Strong) dreamt of going to an England final. Reunited as adults, they realize their brotherly dream while trying to save the world.
The funny bits
The bits about England fans are cute, and there is a stirring “we are scum” speech to the England crowd that sort of plays off Donald Trump’s appearance. The winning goal is a clever application of the laws of the game. Sort of. They also sneak in a joke that FIFA is the biggest criminal organization on the planet. Thank you Sacha!
Grimsby is like a hybrid of Mike Bassett comedy and Kingsman: The Secret Service action, plus the Borat-style shticks you see in the trailers. (Ricky Tomlinson has a cameo.) Sometimes I almost felt l was watching 2 movies for the price of one, with Mark Strong in an action film and Cohen in a screwball comedy.
The overlapping market segments may be why it was difficult to find a theater showing on opening weekend. Distributors probably didn’t know who would go see it.
While my husband cringed at the outrageous and politically insensitive parts, I had a good time. Go see it in the theatre, as I suspect the raunchy stuff will never show up on cable. Or wait for the DVD, and maybe there will be a making of segment that explains how they got Mark Strong, an actor I really enjoy, to play a Grimsby brother.
I’m looking forward to a sequel.
7 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 7