‘The Brothers Grimsby’ is an Ugly, Desperate Comedy

Sasha Baron Cohen is a lower class soccer fan from Grimsby who, after years of searching for the brother he was separated from as a child, finally finds him. The problem is, his brother is a secret agent and the reunion has foiled his mission. Now, the two brothers go on the run in a race against time before a terrorist plot is unleashed on the unsuspecting world.

The Brothers Grimsby is a by the numbers action comedy content more with grossing out and offending than it is with being funny. That, I’m afraid, is the film’s major downfall.

The movie is funny, I’ll give it that. If I said I didn’t laugh once at it, I would be a liar, but the issue is that the laughs are too inconsistent. If you want a good analogy about this film, look at the gags where Cohen’s character has to run after something. At first, he’s at full sprint and doing decently, only to start wheezing and floundering within a few dozen feet.

Borat was not only a funny comedy, but it was a biting satire of the xenophobia in America. It was smarter than it looked. Bruno, despite being a vastly inferior movie, at least tried to say something about America’s anti-homosexual stances (even if it did fail). The Brothers Grimsby fails even harder. I think that it was attempting to say something about the importance of the lower classes to world society, but it only briefly touches on the subject for a few minutes at the end and does it almost as a tacked on moral that I found annoying. What’s worse, while the movie is trying to bash you over the head with the importance of the lower class, these same lower class characters are breaking the law, causing riots, and abusing AIDs infected kids in wheelchairs (no, I am not kidding).

The Brothers Grimsby smacks of a certain desperation that has been, so far, beneath anything that Sasha Baron Cohen has done. Sure, in a Cohen movie, you expect offensiveness and grossness, but this movie trots them out without reason or rhyme and it’s just not funny.

It works rarely, fails for the majority. As I’ve always said, the measure of a good comedy is asking yourself if you laugh enough to justify the ticket price and, with The Brothers Grimsby, I have to say no.

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