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ALI G INDAHOUSE

SYNOPSIS:
Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) becomes an unwitting pawn as a Liberal candidate in a by-election that figures in a powerplay by the Deputy Prime Minister (Charles Dance) who hopes to topple the PM (Michael Gambon). But Ali G's 'make it real' catchcry becomes the rally cry of the nation and the dastardly political plan goes wobbly. But Ali G has his own set of troubles with his girl, Julie (Kellie Bright).


Review by Andrew L. Urban:
I may be wrong, but Ali G seems to me to be one of those truly strange comedies that are not so much culturally specific but inbred. And like Australia's The Castle and Wog Boy, they are hugely popular on their home turf, with people kaking their daks in their seats, while the films languish tragically in 'fire sale' bins at international markets, where buyers resist them with justified ease. In the case of Ali G, the collective enthusiasm of UK based production icons Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan has convinced Universal that this will be a rollicking box office champion, so there won't be a test of the film at country by country buyer level. It will bypass those gatekeepers (as it has on its way to Australia) and go straight to market and test itself with the ultimate end-user: you. If you're getting my message, you'll have concluded that I didn't 'respond' very positively to Ali G. It may not be just my Australian perspective; maybe it's my age, or a combination. In any case, I grant the film a few brownie points (brownie may be inappropriate usage here) for a raw comic tone and sustained idiocy, but it didn't tickle my funny bone enough to buy a ticket. Then again, I haven't been drip fed Ali G on the telly, as has his British fan base. But even some Brits are weary of Ali G. "The movie starts with Ali waking from a wet dream to discover he's being fellated beneath the duvet by an eager puppy. This sets the tone for a film obsessively preoccupied with masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse, penis size, vaginas, breasts and cross-dressing," writes Philip French in The Observer, calling it "a shoddy affair". And the Brits should know.

Review by Louise Keller:
What's all the fuss about? Ali G is a fad that seems to be sweeping the nonsense-ready audiences far and wide. A new version of Austin Powers, Dame Edna and Norman Gunston, Ali G is a colourful character swarming with bad taste, bad language and a very bad wardrobe. Essentially the film is 88 minutes of a nonsensical comedy routine that kind of manages to sustain - more or less - depending on your expectations and whether or not this tall, lanky oddball in varying shades of multicolour track suits, heavy chains and tinted space goggles appeals to you. Frankly, it's pretty stupid. I had more fun with Ben Stiller's Zoolander, which I thought was rather clever. But then, Stiller's humour was more off-the-wall, than the schoolboy toilet humour of oversize penises and masturbation. There again, there is no doubt that Sacha Baron Cohen's character Ali G, whose meteoric rocket ride to notoriety in Pommie-land, will offer novelty bad-taste value to the young audience at which it is targeted. We are talking about a character that thinks that a by-election is something to do with sexuality, and that laying a brick is taking a dump. Some of the concepts are funny - I was rather tickled by the scene when Ali G (protesting on a hunger strike) is chained to the fence that a blind man is polishing. Of course when Ali's pants get pulled down, and the blind man continues his polishing and stroking… well, you get the drift. It was actually the anticipation that made me laugh. While it may be predictable humour, the notion of putting Ali G into parliament with the stuffy pollies works quite well, although I must admit I had difficulty at times in understanding some of the dialogue and the lingo. Is that ENGLISH they are speaking? No topic seems to be forbidden - from rejecting refugees if they are not good sorts, to enjoying the spoils of police confiscated porn goods and drugs. Yep, there's plenty to offend everyone. I quite enjoyed the nonsense of Ali G, although the novelty started to wear a little thin by the end. Hang around for the credits - you may be bullied into laughing, if you haven't already.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

TRAILER

ALI G INDAHOUSE (MA)
(UK)

CAST: Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Gambon, Charles Dance, Kellie Bright, Martin Freeman, Rhona Mitra, Barbara New

PRODUCER: Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Dan Mazer

DIRECTOR: Mark Mylod

SCRIPT: Sacha Baron Cohen, Dan Mazer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ashley Rowe

EDITOR: Paul Knight

MUSIC: Adam F

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Grenville Horner

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 18, 2002

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

VIDEO RELEASE: November 27, 2002







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