DVD Review: The Brothers Grimsby
By John Corrado
★★½ (out of 4)
Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) is a working class football fanatic from the small English fishing town of Grimsby, who has spent 28 years awaiting the return of his younger brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong), who turns out to be a top secret agent working for MI6. When Nobby reunites with his brother, the two end up on the run and having to work together, despite Sebastian’s initial reluctance at having his dimwitted brother tagging along, to stop a deadly worldwide threat.
I actually kind of enjoyed The Brothers Grimsby, even if that’s embarrassing to admit, and Sacha Baron Cohen’s commitment to no holds barred comedy and doing literally anything for a laugh remains weirdly admirable. Although the humour in this over the top action comedy is often of the stupid and lowbrow variety, and an extended gross out sequence involving elephant semen takes things way too far and ends up kind of nauseating, the film still offers enough laughs and admittedly amusing scenes to make it mildly worth a look.
The pointed satire of Sacha Baron Cohen’s earlier work is a bit dulled here, but The Brothers Grimsby still has flashes of sharp social commentary in its celebration of working class values, and mocking of gun culture. The action scenes are competently pulled off, including several point of view shots, and there are also some heartfelt flashbacks showing the bond the brothers shared as kids. The film doesn’t always work, but this is dumb fun, with a few brief glimpses of something more beneath the surface.
The DVD also has a gag reel, a “making of” featurette, and a brief look at the amount of work it took to pull off the elephant scene, including making copious amounts of fake fluids and a giant phallus.
The Brothers Grimsby is a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 83 minutes and rated 18A.