After Mark Strong’s latest mission is horribly compromised he is forced into teaming up with his idiot football hooligan brother Sacha Baron Cohen. The two of them must work closely together to save the world from a mysterious and dangerous plot.
Grimsby is the latest offering from star and writer Sacha Baron Cohen, and this time he tries his hand at buddy comedy – pitting Mark Strong’s straight man against Cohen’s idiot northern(ish) yob. It’s actually a pairing that works incredibly well together. In fact really their chemistry deserves a better vehicle than Grimsby is. Because while there are some terrific comedy set pieces including one with an elephant that no doubt you will have heard about, it does feel like the majority of the funniest parts and lines were probably improvised on the spot. Even so Grimsby is solidly laugh out loud funny throughout, despite its narrative messiness which we will get on to.
In terms of the action half of this action comedy, Grimsby is fairly lacking. It’s not that when they come along they aren’t any good, it’s just that there aren’t very many. This didn’t bother me because it’s consistently funny enough to work as a pure comedy, but if you were looking for equal parts comedy and action you might be disappointed.
What’s interesting about Grimsby is how much more sentimental it is compared to Cohen’s previous works. Throughout there is a strong theme of brotherly bonds and is overall much less scathing and overtly satirical than something like Borat. Of course there is a still a satirical vein in the movie, it’s just not as overt as you might be expecting.
Really though any Sacha Baron Cohen outing lives or dies by the comedy, and Grimsby is consistently laugh out loud funny. It is messy and the plot is very straightforward but none of that really matters in the end.