Friday night is date night and we needed a laugh. Dan and I headed to Hollywood for sushi, record shopping, and to see The Brothers Grimsby at the Arclight.
PLOT- Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Sebastian (Mark Strong) are brothers who lost their parents and were separated as children. Younger Brother, Sebastian, was adopted by a wealthy London couple and has been working as a secret agent. Nobby, never left their home town of Grimsby, possibly the most depressing town in England. Nobby has nine children, adores his wife (Rebel Wilson), and spends most of his time at the pub, drinking beer and watching football. Even though it has been twenty-eight years, Nobby has never lost hope that he would be reunited with Sebastian.
As luck would have it, one of Nobby's friends, a fellow citizen of Grimsby, has a cousin who has located Sebastian and steals a ticket for Nobby to attend a fancy event where Sebastian will be in attendance. Sebastian's attendance is really part of a secret mission and when the brothers are united, his cover is blown. Sebastian must now rely on Nobby to hide him, until he has a chance to fix the situation.
LIKE- Sacha Baron Cohen films are polarizing. Either you love him or you hate him. I happen to think he's outrageous and funny, The Brothers Grimsby being no exception. Unlike his other recent films, this is not Cohen interacting with unsuspecting real people, this is 100% fiction. However, like his other films, Cohen has created a very strong, outlandish character and he owns it.
From a writing standpoint, I was impressed with the way that The Brothers Grimsby doesn't drop details. If they introduce an element, it's not superfluous. The gags are not for a quick laugh, they always move the story forward. This film is plot heavy and every thing has a pay-off. The plot is clever and the dialogue often had me laughing out-loud. Admittedly our theatre only had a handful of people, but everyone was laughing.
Something I didn't expect was the sentimental element to the film involving the bond between the brothers, especially as children. In particular, the kid who plays the younger Sebastian (Gabriel Chay Palmer) has a gut wrenching scene on a train. I almost cried in a Sacha Baron Cohen movie: true story.
Donald Trump makes an appearance and if you're not a fan of Trump, you'll like the moment.
DISLIKE- It went a touch overboard with the gross humor. It's quite shocking actually, especially a scene with an elephant. Less might have been more.
RECOMMEND- Yes, if you're a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen films. If not, you'll probably want to skip The Brothers Grimsby. This does not need to be seen on the big screen either.
One more note, Grimsby is a real town and the town was not happy with their portrayal in the film. It's not flattering. The mayor had a promotional video made to counter the film and show Grimsby in a positive light. I found it on Youtube, take a look -