June 16, 2016


Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Ilsa Fisher, Rebel Wilson, Gabourey Sidibe, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane. Directed by Louis Leterrier. (2016, 83 min).

Being that The Brothers Grimsby is co-produced & co-written by Sacha Baron Cohen, one can be assured of two things: 1) The film will establish the fine line between good taste and bad before gleefully leaping over it; 2) We'll see Cohen without pants (in this case, several times). Whether or not that's a positive depends on the viewer, who should already know what to expect.

Nobby (Cohen) and Coddy (Mark Strong) are brothers separated during childhood. Decades later, Coddy is working for England's MI6 as an elite assassin, while Nobby is a beer-swilling soccer hooligan with nine kids and a slovenly wife (Rebel Wilson, quite funny in her few scenes). The two end up reuniting after Coddy is wrongfully accused of an assassination attempt and becomes a fugitive. While on the run, they uncover a terrorist plot and must work together to make sure millions aren't killed.

If you think this scenario sounds more like an action film than a raunchy comedy, you wouldn't be wrong. The Brothers Grimsby is loaded with the same type of hyperkinetic mayhem you'd expect from a Jason Bourne movie. In fact, director Louis Leterrier is primarily known for such explosive fare as The Transporter, Unleashed and The Incredible Hulk. But interspersed amid the plot and action - in equally heavy doses - are intentionally excessive exercises in bad taste...AIDS jokes, nasty sex gags, genitalia, drug humor, scenes involving asses (including objects shoved up them) and what can best be described as an insider's look at an elephant gang-bang. Little of it is especially clever, or even all that funny, but we often find ourselves laughing at the film's willingness to take things too far. There are at least three set-pieces where we think, "They aren't really gonna go there, are they?", then cringe & giggle when the film actually does.

A bee in the car.

I'll say this much...The Brothers Grimsby is never boring. Part of it is because of the aforementioned excessiveness, but the film also has a fairly decent plot, impressive action sequences and good performances. We already know Cohen is willing to do damn-near anything onscreen to get a reaction (which of-course means frequently going pantless), so no surprise there. However, seeing such 'serious' actors as Strong, Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz play-it-straight in such an overtly raunchy film is actually quite amusing. Strong, in particular, provides some of the biggest laughs because of his overall intensity, even when shoving a rocket up his ass.

Obviously, The Brothers Grimsby isn't for everybody. It's the kind of film that's probably best enjoyed with like-minded friends gathered in the living room and shotgunning beers together. If you're in the right frame-of-mind and appreciate Sacha Baron Cohen's brand of over-the-top humor (which has always offended just as many folks as it's amused), you may find this as entertainng as Borat. Others beware.


  • Featurettes: "The Making of The Brothers Grimsby"; "The Elephant in the Room" (how the elephant scene was done)
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Outtakes & Blooper Reel
  • Digital Copy


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