Oh Sacha Baron Cohen. There is an actor that never fails to keep me guessing and making me continually jump back and forth between loving him and hating him. When Borat came out in 2006 I thought it looked ridiculous and had no interest in seeing it. Yet when I finally gave in to curiosity and checked out the movie, I found myself laughing my ass off at the pure insanity that Cohen has created. I was never a big fan of his character Ali G but kinda liked him in Talladega Nights so I was becoming a fan. The he did it again by making Brüno, which I hated and thought was a pale imitation of Borat, followed by an inspired performance in the magnificent Hugo. The true definition of love him/hate him. The pattern continued with the boring and overdone film The Dictator followed by another great standout role in Les Miserables. So I can only hope because I wasn’t fond of this month’s release The Brothers Grimsby that I might just love his next movie.
The Brothers Grimsby is the story of Sebastian (Mark Strong), a tough as nails assassin for MI6 who finds out he actually has a brother he never knew about. The problem is his brother Nobby (Cohen) is an English football supporter from a small town called Grimsby. And he’s an idiot. But Nobby is still willing to go out of his way to reconnect with his newfound sibling even if it means risking his life in the turbulent world of espionage.
The Brothers Grimsby really could have been a fantastic movie as the bones were there. Mark Strong is fantastic, even when hamming it up. Cohen isn’t bad either; he has a knack for imbuing his idiot characters with a lot of heart. And the action is actually pretty good too thanks to director Louis Leterrier, known for such action fare as The Transporter and The Transporter 2, Unleashed, The Incredible Hulk and Now You See Me. But the thing that sinks the whole movie for me is the scenes when the story devolves into next level toilet humor and dick jokes. One scene in particular involving elephant mating is just beyond ridiculous and too stupid to actually be funny. Without scenes like this I could really have liked The Brothers Grimsby but those particular scenes were so bad they yanked me right out of the enjoyment of the movie to just shake my head in disbelief. For hardcore Cohen fans this might still do the trick but for me The Brothers Grimsby missed the mark.