Classic Review: The Brothers Grimsby (2016)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “The Brothers Grimsby” which originally appeared here.

Dimwitted Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) lives in an English fishing town of Grimsby with his loving girlfriend Dawn (Rebel Wilson) and nine children. For the last 28 years, he’s been searching for his long-lost brother Sebastian (Mark Strong). When the two finally reunite, Nobby finds out that his sibling is a top MI6 agent who’s just uncovered a sinister plot. Wrongfully accused and on the run, Sebastian now realizes that he needs Nobby’s help to save the world and prove his innocence.

I’ve always been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen ever since Borat. I understand that the humor in his films can sometimes be offensive to some but I personally don’t mind it since I think it is hilarious. Maybe it’s because I am not easily offended but I can see how some would feel that way. Out of all the films I’ve seen this year, I would have to say this and Dirty Grandpa are the most offensive with this one being the most offensive.

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The story here is about a dimwitted man named Nobby (Cohen). He lives in an English fishing town called Grimsby along with his girlfriend Dawn (Wilson) and his nine children. For the last 28 years, he’s been looking for his brother Sebastian (Strong). Once they finally reunite, Nobby finds out that Sebastian is a secret agent uncovering a sinister plot. Now wrongfully accused and on the run, Sebastian needs Nobby to save the world and prove his innocence.

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I found this to be quite a departure from past Cohen films as this one had quite a bit of action as well. I found it very exciting to watch as most of it was shot from Sebastian’s first-person perspective as he was the source of the majority of the action. Nobby, as expected, was more of a sidekick to Sebastian which was fine since Cohen is the kind of actor who excels in these types of roles and does so here.

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What made this fun to watch was the chemistry between Cohen and Strong as they were very great together and I applaud Strong for his commitment to Cohen’s silliness (more on that later). What I think added to that were the flashback scenes of Nobby and Sebastian as children, this helped established the bond between them which inevitably got better as the film went on. I thought Wilson was okay as Nobby’s girlfriend Dawn who instead of being the subject of implied fat jokes, were more direct here. Penelope Cruz was wasted here as the film’s main villain, Rhonda George, as she did not have much to do here.

Oh boy was this movie ever offensive as I could name many instances of things that were just so shocking to see but being the person I am, found them hilarious. With that, I could understand why they would turn some people off by offending them to their core. But in all honesty, if you are surprised by what you see then it’s your own fault as you should have known beforehand that a Sacha Baron Cohen movie would be offensive.

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There wasn’t much of a story here as the subplot involving the reunion of Nobby and Sebastian kind of overpowered everything else and with a running time of only 83 minutes, this didn’t leave room for much else. Nobby was an interesting character but we didn’t really get to know more about him other than him being a soccer fan and he definitely had an interesting family full of wise-cracking children who did get a few chances to shine but I would have liked to have seen more.

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Overall, while the humor may not be for the easily offended but the rest of us should have a good time. Because this is a short film, we do get to suffer a little but there is still a lot to be had here. This is definitely Cohen’s best film since Borat.

Score: 8.5/10

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