Review of "Grimsby (Blu-Ray)"

published 18/07/2016 | DodoRabbit
Member since : 24/05/2014
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Dipping my feet in again, don't be shy to ask for a read if I've missed you. Check out any reviews of mine you may have missed whilst I'm working on my next one, which I can guarantee is 'out of this world'.
Pro Laughs from start to finish, Not afraid to be controversial, Action sequences done quite well
Cons Extended and Deleted scenes not edited into the film, Crude humour for some, tonal confusion
Did you enjoy it?
Characters / Performances
Special Effects

"Despised by Critics -I had the last laugh & plenty along the way!"

Grimsby's Blu-Ray front cover with an over the top "Warning" on the front.

Grimsby's Blu-Ray front cover with an over the top "Warning" on the front.

There aren't many comedies in recent years that I've properly enjoyed. There have been loads of films that I've found hilarious but aren't necessarily classified as comedies. However Sacha Baron Coen has been crowned the 'King of Comedies' for performances in 'Borat', 'The Dictator' and 'Bruno' . I really wanted to go and see this in the cinema however the film stopped showing by the time I could afford to do so. I picked this up yesterday at Sainsburys on the way home, ready to watch it as soon as I could friends over or have time to myself to watch it, I even bought the original theatrical poster for my room!

I find that doing a comedy spy review is difficult because where I'd normally mention quotes or minor plot points for characters, I can't. The comedy genre means that any quotes will ruin the film and so may small hints at the plot, especially when most of the film of this film is how outrageous it is.

Background Information

Certificate 18
Running Time 83 minutes
Budget $35 million
Box Office Takings $25.2 million
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Production Companies Big Talk Productions, Four By Two Films, LStar Capital, Village Roadshow Pictures, Working Title Films

As is evident from the considerably smaller box office taking than the budget, the film surprisingly bombed despite Baron Coen's previous successes and renowned acclaim for his films such as borat which made over 20 times the budget at the box office. I think a part of this failure was critics giving it so much negativity which may have put people off and the film not being on for long enough.
Cast & Characters
In this section I will be talking about the main characters, of which there are few, as well as some other characters that I won't go into too much detail about seeing as they aren't relevant to the plot. I won't include any spoilers in this section just in case you're worried about me giving it all away:
  • Sacha Baron Coen plays Nobby Butcher a stereotypical Northern chav claiming benefits in the town of Grimsby. I've heard things about his Northern accent and how it fails within the first line but I didn't manage to point this out and went along with the performance. I've only seen clips of his other movies and intend on watching 'The Dictator' at some point but this one feels a little more real (even though it is over the top as usual) as I feel that he plays a 'This is England' style character. It's still rather unbelievable but entertainingly so. Normally I'd share some quotes from the film that he says but being a comedy, it would ruin the film. If anyone chooses to have any comedy elements spoiled, feel free to do so by reading the spoiler section.
  • Mark Strong plays Sebastian Graves Nobby's long lost brother who has become a top spy for MI6, separated from his brother as a child. I saw the trailer for this after I'd seen Kingman and I thought that he would be playing the same cold character and I was sort of correct as there's that same lack of sentimentality which was right for his character but I couldn't help but feel that he could have shown a bit more heart. His cold performance did, however, help contribute to the comedic contrast created by the differences between him and his brother which worked very well for the film and he managed to ground the film.
  • Rebel Wilson portrays Dawn Grobham Nobby's wife. I thought her performance worked and was funny, her character isn't really necessary to the plot and sort of follows Coen's character around and wasn't given enough chances to be funny. However in some deleted and extended scenes she's brilliant and it's a shame they were cut from the original film which is short enough as it is. The character is quite sexualised but I feel that it works for the purposes of creating a poverty stricken little England.
  • Isla Fisher as Jodie Figgs who is Baron Coen's wife in real life. She plays a woman who helps the brothers try and defeat the film's villain, whom I shouldn't mention for spoiler reasons. I think she's perfectly fine but her role isn't memorable, which is the issue with this film in general, the brothers and their wild story overshadows the other characters.
  • Penélope Cruz as Rhonda George A philanthropist actress that Mark Strong's character is assigned to protect in the beginning of the film, following some information from a previous target. She's great in her role for the small part she has.

Some Smaller cast members that deserve a mention
Listed below are the actors that are worthy of a mention, yet there roles aren't big enough to properly discuss, they may be enough of a draw for you to come and see the film:
  • Johnny Vegas plays a drunkard with a fishing business 'Milky Pimms' and he was a welcome edition in this film as he's hilarious in his own right.
  • Ian MacShane plays the Head of MI6
  • Ricky Tomlinson plays Paedo Pete
Let's not forget the crew....
Comedies rely strongly on performances but the way that it comes across and the creativity all comes down to the team behind the camera:The film was Directed by Louis Leterrier who previous directed:
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Transporter
  • Now You See Me
  • Clash of the Titans

What I find remarkable is how well the action sequences are shot which shows that he's got an eye for sleek scenes yet the rest of the film's comic elements over-shadow the director as the performances take over. I think it was a good choice for the director as there were several first-person action shots done that reminded me of some 1st person video games. It managed to balance the style of grubby Britain with a high octane action film very well which is normally very difficult. Oliver Wood was responsible for the cinematography. Some of the film's scenes were really well thought out with the way they looked others are...let's say too shocking to focus on how the creative process behind it went. His back catalogue includes:
  • The Bourne Trilogy
  • Safe House
  • Anchorman 2

I've also included the editors and producers are as a matter of interest:
  • Edited by Jonathan Amos, Evan Henke,James Thomas
  • Produced by Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Ant Hines, Nira Park,Todd Schulman

The Plot

Now, I won't pretend that the plot is entirely original. I think we've seen it all when it comes to spy spoofs. So this isn't groundbreaking at all. With my previous reviews I included a spoiler and non-spoiler review of the plot. However I feel that the plot isn't complex enough to be interesting to spoil and spoiling any funny bits will ruin the film entirely so instead I'll spend longer on talking about the plot without spoilers.
A spoiler free review

I've taken the plot synopsis from the back of the Blu Ray case and I will go on to talking about what I thought of the plot.:

Nobby, a sweet but dimwitted English football hooligan, has everything a man from the poor fishing town of Grimsby could want, including 9 children and the most attractive girlfriend in the northeast of England There's only one thing missing; his little brother, Sebastian, who Nobby has spent 28 years searching for after they were separated as kids. Nobby sets off to reunite with Sebastian, unaware that not only his brother is MI6's deadliest assassin but he's just uncovered plans for an imminent global terrorist attack. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realises that if he is going to save the world, he will need the help of its biggest idiot.

I must admit, I love a spy film even if it's a spoof so I don't think there could could be a margin for error in my books. It's nothing that you've not seen before but there are moments that genuinely shocked me into uncontrollable laughter because you either don't see them coming or they seem so out of place.

The humour in the film is quite crude and there's a lot of toilet and sexual humour which I think that a lot of people may enjoy but if it's not your humour then I wouldn't recommend it. There are moments in the film such as what I'll call 'A hiding place' and 'That's gay' which are simply too ludicrous to be realistic but that's the beauty of them really.

A problem I do have with the movie is that it is quite short and there are plenty of scenes that could have been added into the film for an 'Extended Cut' which I think is a shame they weren't added because at only 83 minutes, the plot feels rushed in places and there could have been more cheap laughs added in.

What's in the package

The Blu-ray edition came with a slipcover with a matt finish, the finish of the printing could have been better but I'm glad it was released with a slipcover as it looks nicer to have on the shelf, similar to a hardcover book looking much finer on one's collection. The disc is of an elephant which I really didn't understand until I watched the movie. The Blu Ray also contains a UV copy which means that you can download the film so you can watch it online but I normally flog it on eBay to get some cash back on my purchase.
Special Features
Interestingly enough, the special features on the home release is the reason why it's been given such a high rating by the bbfc. So I thought I'd do a run-down of all the special features as well as my opinions on them:
  • The Making of Grimsby was quite an engaging as it detailed the creative process and how the actors and actresses with a quote from the director "working with Sacha is like jumping into river rapids". There's a sense of admiration from the cast and crew for each other as well as the locations that they're filming on. They all look like they're having a lot of fun which makes this a more than pleasant watch and something that I wish all "Making Ofs" included.
  • Hilarious Outtakes or Line-Orama which I believe it's called on the blu-ray release is a load of lines that could have been put into place during certain moments of the film. For example in the film there's a line about him leaving a nasty poo that won't flush "I've got a code brown" was actually used but "It's a monster, you can see it from google earth" and "It's like Hiroshima in there" were added. I think some of these were better than the lines used in the film so this was quite a funny feature but the issue I have with it is that there are some outtakes from the film that didn't even make the cut of the film such as the job interview section.

Blu Ray exclusives
  • Deleted Scenes and Extended Scenes are always welcome as an extra, however I can't help but feel that they would have been more welcome edited into the film. The film was given a bbfc rating of an 18 because of the extras so why not include it in the actual film, it seems misleading. These deleted and extended scenes involve motivation from Nobby's wife and an interview scene. I thought these would have been welcome to be added into the movie but perhaps the film didn't make enough money at the box office to pay the editors to add them into the film. The deleted scenes include a hilarious job interview with a telesales company which includes a lot of swearing "telesales people are those w***ers that call you up- that's what you're applying for" as well as some funny tattooing scenes and extended bath and elephant scenes. All of these are hilarious which makes me even more disappointed that they weren't added into the film because the on-screen combination of Baron Coen and Strong is something that gets me laughing any day.
  • Blooper Reel wasn't a very welcome extra for me. There's something quite unsatisfying about watching other people mess up lines and laughing at the camera. This feels like a bit of a filler in terms of the extras. It's not necessarily terrible but I'd rather have an interview with the cast and crew and more insight into the creative process of creating such an outrageous comedy on top of the 'Making of' feature. This seems to just be a load of people grunting, laughing and messing up lines which can be funny and it done better than most other films as it's to music but still is probably the worst feature on the DVD.
  • The Elephant in the Room is a feature which focuses on what I will call the Elephant scene to avoid spoilers. I think this is a very interesting special feature to be added, particularly the passion behind the cast and the crew that went into creating such a peculiar and memorable scene. I found it fascinating how much research and substance went into creating the scene and how they phoned up zoos anonymously to found out if it could be theoretically done which I could imagine being a rather awkward phone call.
Critical Reception
Rotten Tomatoes 37% critics / 45% Audiences
Metacritic 44/100 critics / 6.4/10 user score
IMDb 6.3/10

Despite the praise that I've given to to this film, for its shocking 'lad' comedy, critics gave it mixed to negative reviews. The reason why, I'm guessing, was that perhaps the comedy was too immature and critics were looking for more satire and subtle irony than sexual poo jokes.

Here are some positive reviews:
  • Entertainment Weekly Here’s what you didn’t expect: That The Brothers Grimsby, an upstairs-downstairs spy comedy, would be Cohen’s best work in a decade. 83/100
  • The Globe and Mail (Toronto) The raunchy awfulness of The Brothers Grimsby is overwhelmed by a constant flow of chuckles, guffaws and flat-out belly laughs it elicits throughout 67/100
  • New York Daily News _If you like dumb gross-out comedies featuring men fellating each other, double entendres about penises and feces, and an obsession with the anus straight out of elementary school, you’ll love Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest effort. If you don’t, what, pray tell, is wrong with you?! 80/100_

The positive reviews aren't extremely high, as you'd notice, particularly because comedies rarely get critical acclaim due to differing senses of humour and lack of emotional substance. However I think that films in general shouldn't be dismissed as something forgettable just because it's not a textbook oscar film. This will never win any awards and I think that's rather unfair, of all the few comedies released this year, this is by far the best as it had me in stitches throughout. Perhaps a change is needed in the categories to include a comedy category.

It wouldn't be fair if I didn't include some negative reviews too...some of which are extremely negative:
  • Empire It may occasionally shock a laugh from you, but between those moments your face will be a rictus of horror 20/100
  • Hitflix An entirely laughless affair and easily the low point of Cohen's career so far 0/100
  • Reelreviews This movie is so atrocious I kept waiting for Nick Cage to show up 12/100

Some of the negative reviews were quite witty but largely the critics who didn't like the film, didn't enjoy it because it didn't appeal to their sense of humour- perhaps they found it too lower-class and immature but unless it's senseless cheese you can't put a class on comedy. Every friend I've spoken to and lent it to, loved it as much as I did which may prove that it could be an age thing and that shocking and vulgar humour appeals more to a younger age demographic.
If my previous comments haven't persuaded you to see the movie yet, here are a few fun facts that might get you interesting in watching the film:
  • None of the film was actually shot in Grimsby, the town that Singer-Songwriter Ella Henderson is from, it was mostly shot in Essex.
  • The town of Grimsby doesn't actually have its own cinema.
  • The film was initially marketed as "The Brothers Grimsby" to make a pun on the Brothers Grimm but this was shorted to Grimsby close to release.
Price and Availability
I picked this up for £12.99 at my local Sainbury's supermarket on the way back from a BBQ on the Saturday after release as I'd been meaning to watch it months prior to purchase. As the price is the same wherever you go, unless you buy it at CEX for £12 but then you won't make any money back by selling the UV code as they'll be used so you're better off buying it new, perhaps even at HMV who sell the Blu ray as a part of the 2 for £25 offer.

I'd advise anyone making a purchase to buy it at a shop you have a reward card for because you're at least making some money back on your purchase, especially for DVDs (which are £10 for this film) as they're the same price everywhere you shop so you may just as well treat yourself to some rewards further down the line.

At HMV they offer a steelbook of the film for the same price which is a good offer as you will normally spend more but the cover isn't nearly as nice as Sicario or Star Wars steelbooks but if you're a collector it's worth noting.
Why an 18?
I have contacted the BBFC, asking them exactly what makes the blu-ray edition an 18 and what special features give it the rating in question and I've not been graced with a reply as of yet. However I decided to list what I would classify as the top 3 reasons why the extended scenes make in an 18, just in case you're willing to buy the Blu-ray for a child of yours and are unsure if it would be appropriate:
  • Strong Language is prominent in this film yet at the age of 14 most children know all the rude words so this shouldn't really be the issue that makes it an an 18, even if more W words were used in the extended scenes. However if you aren't comfortable with letting your child hear strong language on a frequent basis then this film isn't for them.
  • Crude Humour is quite heavy in this film but it's perfect for teenagers. So I'd recommend buying this for any of your late-teenage boys to watch with their mates as they'll love it. However if you find your child is not 'mature' (I use this word loosely) enough to cope with jokes about anuses then I'd keep it away from them.
  • Sexual Explicitly including an elephant's penis and sperm and some rather crude scenes of having sex with an obese woman in some detail would make this very uncomfortable to watch with your kids but if they're 15... I'm sure they've searched for worse. I've you've seen Game of Thrones with your kids, I'm sure you'll be fine watching this with them without a doubt.

If you're worried about your teenage kids that are over 15 but under 18 watching the special features that make it an 18 then I'd suggest buying the DVD It's also worth nothing that the Irish Film Classification board classified the film as a 15 so if you didn't vote brexit and trust the Irish more then you could always buy the film for your 15 year old without feeling like a bad parent in the slightest.
To Conclude

Whilst this film may not appeal to an older, more mature age demographic, Grimsby offers one with laughs that shock the audience into roaring with laughter in places. This isn't one to miss if you loved Deadpool and Borat and have a working-class sense of humour, not to sound too snobbish- I loved it!

Lacking in originality with action sequences better than other recent spoofs such as Spy with more laugh-out-loud moments rather than the occasional chuckle, Grimsby manages to engage one with the quick punchlines and ongoing gags. Whilst not as sleek or easily accessible as Kingsman, there are lines in this film that you'll be quoting over and over again- only if you like it that is!

If you're still undecided you could check out the trailer which sells the film short if I'm honest but to say you wasting your time searching through the plethora of videos on YouTube, here's the main trailer:

I'd like to apologise for including less screenshots than usual as the Blu ray won't play on my laptop so getting screenshots is more difficult. Thank you for reading my review, any constructive feedback is welcome and it's lovely to be writing and engaging the wonderful community again!

If you're not comfortable buying the Blu Ray for your child because of the 18 rating, the DVD is a 15 to put your mind at ease :)

Community evaluation

This review was read 2551 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • Mistybrook published 13/10/2017
  • missrarr published 26/04/2017
    Brilliantly reviewed
  • SirJoseph published 25/04/2017
    Agreed. it was an easy watch
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Product Information : Grimsby (Blu-Ray)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Classification: 18 years and over

DVD Region: Blu-ray

Production Year: 2015

EAN: 5050630405718

Main Language: English

Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen, Rebel Wilson


Listed on Ciao since: 10/07/2016