MI6's top assassin, Agent Sebastian Butcher (Mark Strong) has a brother, an English football supporter, Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen), from the English fishing town of Grimsby. Nobby has nine children and the most attractive girlfriend in northern England, Lindsey (Rebel Wilson). There's only one thing missing in his life: his little brother, Sebastian. After being adopted by different families as children, Nobby has spent 28 years searching for him. Upon hearing of his location, Nobby sets off to reunite with his brother, unaware that not only is his brother an MI6 agent, but he's just uncovered a plot that puts the world in danger. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realizes that if he is going to save the world, he will need the help of its biggest idiot.
Review by Louise Keller
There are some scenes that are impossible to erase, namely the one involving copious amounts of ejaculated elephant semen, in what can only be described as the most offensive elephant joke in history. There is no shortage of attempts at other bad-taste, low-brow humour involving the genitals, plus an explosive running gag about the nether-regions that develops into a genuine plot point. Grimsby is an unadulterated orgy of obscene, puerile humour doused with touches of potentially clever satire as it speeds along in its action-movie guise. The fact that director Louis Leterrier is a master at action means that the action sequences are slick, while the lewd is countered by polish. It is this vast contrast of tone that the film does well – albeit the promise of something interesting to the dregs of the vulgar relegates it to a downward slanting vile slippery dip.
The Grimsby premise relies on the contrast between the two brothers played by Cohen and Mark Strong, the latter must be given credit for gumption to partake in explicit scenes from which many would not escape unscathed. They play brothers who have not seen each other for nearly 30 years and are as different as chalk and cheese. Cohen’s Nobby is a recognizable lower class English git devoted to his large family, the pub and football, while Strong’s focused MI6 agent Sebastian has one thing on his mind – his Bond-esque, licenced to kill job. Their reunion comprises a string of mishaps that put Nobby and Sebastian’s lives into a blender with the setting on high. In the mix are Rebel Wilson as Nobby’s lover, Penelope Cruz (always an asset) and Isla Fisher in a thankless role as Sebastian’s MI6 assistant.
The funniest set up comes in South Africa, when Nobby replaces his brother in a top secret mission and is instructed to seduce the gorgeous girl in the green dress. The joke is that there are two girls in green – one is shapely (Tamsin Egerton) and the other is oversized (Gabourey Sidibe, well cast). This Code Brown sequence evolves into the elephantine low-point, before the action jumps to Chile, where the climactic football final scene plays out. There is plenty more to offend – even Harry Potter and Donald Trump get a serve.
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(UK, Aust, 2016)
CAST: Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher,Rebel Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Mark Strong
DIRECTOR: Louis Leterrier
SCRIPT: Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston, Peter Baynham
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Oliver Wood
EDITOR: Jonathan Amos, Evan Henke, James Thomas
MUSIC: David Buckley, Erran Baron Cohen
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kave Quinn
RUNNING TIME: 83 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 10, 2016