Review of "Grimsby (Blu-Ray)"

published 16/11/2016 | Jarisleif
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Ciao gone the same way as DooYoo. Time to depart, methinks.
Pro Over-the-top humour
Cons Goes above the call of duty at times
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Characters / Performances
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"It's Grim in Grimsby"

Nobby introduces his wife to her brother-in-law.

Nobby introduces his wife to her brother-in-law.

Grimsby (2016)

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

Writing Credits: Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston, Peter Baynham

Produced by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Nira Park, Todd Schulman

Genre: Comedy

Length: 83 minutes

Certificate: 15

IMDb Rating: 6.3

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson

The film starts with Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) getting down to business with his wife, Dawn (Rebel Wilson). To coin a phrase from Alex DeLarge from "A Clockwork Orange", they were doing a bit of the old 'in out, in out'. They exchange 'pleasantries', and the camera pans out, to which Nobby says "We'll take it", as a furniture store attendant looks on in horror at what he's just witnessed. I suppose if you're going to test drive a bed, you may as well do it right! Blur's "Parklife" plays on in the background, as we see Nobby takes the mattress on a double decker bus. How they ever got it up to the top deck is beyond me. I mean, what if they hadn't paid its fare and a conductor comes round? It's clear that Grimsby is a bit of a dive. No offence to people from Grimsby, but that's how it's portrayed in the opening scenes. Unemployment, chavs, litter, you name it, it's all here. I can only imagine there are Pokemon in the local Job Centre, as many people are queued up outside. Nobby, who is clearly not a fan of "Pokemon Go", struggles on past with said mattress on a shopping trolley. I won't bore you with any more details because I could definitely go on, and you won't want that if you have any thoughts of watching the film yourselves, except for the observation that Nobby's wife completely disappears from the scene in the store to Nobby trying to get the mattress home.

I gotta get one of these for the kids!

The plot, well, it's complicated. I suppose it's a story of how two brothers, separated for nearly 30 years, come together after Nobby's friends find out his brother Sebastian (Mark Strong) is going to be at a benefit and convince Nobby to go meet with him. I can sort of imagine what it must be like for Nobby, as I have only one sibling and we live 4,000 miles apart. I went chasing the so-called 'American Dream' and see him for just one week a year. Actually, this time it will be longer as I won't be in the UK in 2016, but I do have a trip planned for May 2017, at the time of writing. Anyway, enough about me waffling on, because this film is not about me. It's about Nobby and Sebastian. Siblings will always fight about this and that, but these two did not get that rivalry that most have when growing up. We've all heard stories about siblings being placed in care homes separate from each other, then coming together again many years later, and they went on to lead completely different lives. Nobby is a football hooligan, someone who hasn't had it easy in life, but he wouldn't change a thing. He's married with 11 kids, living in the lovely (I'm sure) town of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and worlds apart from his brother, who is a secret agent in MI6. What follows in the film is two brothers that, although they've very different, are still very similar as well.

Hello, chaps! Room for another? Good bye!

I never quite know how to take Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought his Ali G character was a genius invention at first that pushed boundaries to the limit, but then it started to get tiring with the same old jokes rehashed. His interviews with unsuspecting celebrities including Paul Daniels, Shaquille O'Neal, and Donald Trump often contained controversial questions, and Trump himself walked out of his interview within a minute of it starting. Was Ali G sometimes misconstrued as racist, or was the character thinly-veiled racism? That's a matter of debate for many people, and one I do not want to be a part of. I just thought he was funny. Forget the appearance, Cohen was just going for the done thing at the time. Borat was one of those characters that annoyed me more than anything, although he is arguably one of Cohen's most famous of portrayals. The character first appeared on "Da Ali G Show", but exploded into life on his own in the ridiculously-titled film, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan". This is a film I have never seen nor am I likely to, so this is something I cannot comment on. However, it was a massive success at the Box Office. Bruno, a gay Austrian fashion show presenter, is another of those that I didn't really warm to. Not because he's gay, before anyone assumes it. The Austrian character is extremely stereotypical of gay men, and not without controversy, either.

Because of you, the head of the World Health Organisation is dead and Harry Potter has AIDS

As for some of the better-known actors in the film, you have John Thomson, he of "The Fast Show" fame (nice). "The Royle Family"'s Ricky Tomlinson is also present, as is comedian Johnny Vegas, and Lovejoy himself, Ian McShane, who I have just found out was born in the same town as me. His dad was playing professional football for Blackburn Rovers at the time of Ian's birth, and would go on to represent Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United later on in his career. You also get Baron Cohen's wife, Australian Isla Fisher, and the delightful Penelope Cruz. As for the rest of the cast, it is said that the likes of Clive Owen and Colin Farrell were both considered for the part of Sebastian Graves, and the latter actually turned the role down. Of course, Mark Strong eventually got the part, and I know it's clichéd to say I don't think the others would have played the role better, but I truly believe it here. Strong's deadpan stone face completely works, and I can't envisage anyone else being able to pull this off. Kudos to the casting department on this one, and also for not hiring Julia Roberts, who was apparently considered for the role of Rhonda George, which eventually went to Penelope Cruz. I am sure I would not have watched had she been in it. As far as I'm concerned, she turns a good plot into a complete mash and the films she appears in just do not work for me. "Money Monster", the 2016 film starring George Clooney, is a prime example of this. Great idea, completely ruined by her presence. Of course, that's just my opinion. Clearly some people like Julia Roberts. She wouldn't be extremely successful, if they didn't.

You managed to do in three seconds what Voldemort failed to do in eight movies!

The last silly British comedy I can recall is probably "Johnny English", which starred Rowan Atkinson in the title role. This was another farcical comedy where the main character was a bit of a buffoon, with a sidekick in Bough (Ben Miller). You could almost call it slapstick, but it just doesn't quite reach those heights. Maybe you can class "Shaun of the Dead" in that mix, but before any of those two had to have been "Monty Python's the Meaning of Life" in 1983. This is definitely not a film for those that are grossed out by images of explicit nature, even if they are of comedic value. The sight of Nobby attempting to suck the poison out of his brother Sebastian's nether regions is definitely not something that rates high on the things I've ever seen, but Cohen has never been anything but controversial. "Grimsby" takes elements of "Johnny English and "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls", and mixes it with a bit of "Freddy Got Fingered" to make one weird, yet clever, comedy. There are plenty of laughs, though much of it is what you might call dark humour. There is a good deal of action, too, with some good fight scenes. Granted almost all of them are based around Mark Strong's character, but purely because of Sebastian's profession. It won't be to everyone's cup of tea, and I will freely admit that I went into it without high expectations, but I did enjoy the film. I obviously didn't think it was brilliant, but it definitely had something that a lot of modern-day comedies do not have. Cohen's writing is sharp, witty and refreshing, and I would definitely watch a sequel should one be made. I don't think we would get another outing of Nobby and Sebastian, but you can never say never.

As for the Blu-ray, the video is sharp, crisp, and looks great in 1080p quality. Black levels are as you would expect, and textures on faces, tables, etc., can be picked out like you would expect if you were actually there. Sound-wise, it is yet another top-notch job. Levels are mixed well, and the score is big, vibrant, and boomy. With a lot of films you often get that feeling that the spoken word is pushed in the background, but not here. There are a few special features, but this is Blu-ray and I would have expected a whole lot more. There is a making of featurette, where a number of cast and crew are shown. The film's opening scene is also featured in which Baron Cohen discusses how it was made. To finish out the extras, there are extended scenes, deleted scenes, outtakes and bloopers. Oh, and the customary trailers for other films you may (or may not) be interested in. As previously said, I wanted more. I can't change it, but I do with the major film companies would give people more for their money.

My rating: 7.1/10

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Comments on this review

  • spanielize published 26/11/2016
    Grimsby fiendish!
  • Secre published 25/11/2016
    My idea of hell in a movie!
  • CelticSoulSister published 23/11/2016
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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