HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Brothers Grimsby
HTS Overall Score:78
Sacha Baron Cohen is known for his extreme adherence to comedic brevity, as well as creating some of the most unique characters in the world of comedy. His creation of “Ali G” was pure comedic brilliance, and his penchant for pushing the boundaries of the offensive knows no bounds. Most of his comedy is very short and sketch based, but with his recent transfer to feature film making he has had to adjust his tone somewhat. However, he still has not given up his knack for creating shorter films that feel like a burst of comedic energy rather than creating a longer narrative. That may work in films like “Bruno” and “Borat”, where sketch comedy is best taken in small doses, but he feels a bit rushed and hurried here in “The Brothers Grimsby”, with an 83 minute runtime that feels like there is no time to slow down.
Brothers Sebastian (Mark Strong) and Nobby (Sacha Baron Coen) are two brothers separated during childhood when the orphanage splits the two children, sending one to live a life of luxury while the other lives in the squalor of Grimsby, England. Sebastian is now a super-secret agent for M-16 (a subset of MI-5), and is one of the best of best in counter terrorism. Nobby, on the other hand, is living as a football hooligan down in Grimsby after shacking up with his girlfriend Dawn (Rebel Wilson) and siring 11 children (even Nobby is not sure how many kids he has, even though they all live together in a crummy flat). Nobby has never stopped looking for Sebastian, and after 28 years he has finally found his long lost kin. Only problem is that this family reunion comes while Sebastian is trying to hunt down a rogue assassin who is trying to kill philanthropist Rhonda George (Penelope Cruz). Compromising Sebastian’s shot, Nobby ends up accidentally labeling his brother as the shooter and sending the two of them off to be hunted by British Intelligence.
Now on the run with his with Nobby, Sebastian has to figure out a way to clear his name and make sure Nobby doesn’t get his head shot off in the process. That proves to be a bit more difficult than he thought, as his former handler (played by Ian McShane) sends hit men after them and will stop at nothing to capture what he believes is a rogue agent. However, what may do the trick is Nobby’s unpredictability and never say never attitude. With his brother at his side, Sebastian and Nobby take on the world, and a few rockets up the bum at the same time (you have to watch to truly understand that last comment).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=73082[/img]“The Brothers Grimsby” survives on pure adrenaline, Sacha Baron Cohen’s hysterical comedic banter, and a few doses of heroin (again, you have to see it to understand). The movie is hysterically funny in sports, but also misses the target quite a few times as well. The main flaw in the film seems to be the fact that Sacha hasn’t been able to make the jump from sketch comedy to feature films in his editing style just yet. While under 90 minute runtimes can work for films like “Bruno” and “Borat” where it’s just one bit sketch to the next, but with a fleshed out story you need a little bit more time to really build up momentum. The memories of the past are only fleshed out through flashbacks, and while that works for a few scenes, the incessant use of it hampers any real emotional attachments to WHY the two brothers were separated.
Again, the film just feels rushed, with the movie traveling at break neck speeds with very little time to catch its breath. Everything feels constrained and a blur as the movie flits from one action or comedy bit toe the next without any character development or waiting for the audience to make the leap from one scene to the next. Honestly the film could have used another 20 minutes to really add some meat to story, but I still admit that I laughed myself silly at times. To be fair though, I certainly did feel like puking a few times from the over the top offensive style of humor that Sacha loves so very much. I have to say that it’s akin to “Ace Ventura Pet Detective 2” on R-rated steroids than anything. Just without the hilarity of 90’s era Jim Carrey.
Rated R for strong crude sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, language, and some drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=73090[/img]Shot with the Arri Alexa camera system and transferred to a 2K Digital Intermediary, “The Brothers Grimsby” looks amazingly sharp and clear on Blu-ray. At a mere 83 minutes of run time there really isn’t a whole lot of space needed to make the disc look great, and the high bitrate makes the most of the digital film. Colors are bright and cheery, with strong primaries and deep blacks permeating the imagery. Back home in Grimsby the color palette shifts to a more dull and pastel look, with the grime and dinginess of the ghetto homes looking a bit bleary. Fine detailing is amazing, from the plains of Africa, to the dirt and grime and stone block walls of Grimsby, England. Black levels remain inky and deep, with fantastic shadow detail from beginning to end. There’s a teensy bit of crush in a few scenes, but they are fleeting and tend to focus on dark clothing more than anything else.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=73098[/img]Following per modern Sony structure, “The Brothers Grimsby” is given a pair of DTS-HD MA lossless audio tracks. One in English and the other in French, with the English one being the one we’re reviewing here today. The track is finely nuanced and well done, with strong vocal replication and plenty of dynamic range as the two brothers parade around England, and parts of Africa. while getting into copious amounts of trouble. The surrounds get ample exercise with the more action oriented bits, such as Nobby blasting things left and right, or the James Bond inspired score that gives the film a bit of a thrilling feeling. LFE is tight and powerful, adding some explosive low end when the bullets and fists are flying, but also lends itself quite nicely to the everyday mundane noises, such as a card door slamming, or a wooden crate crashing down. It’s a modern action/comedy track, and that means great quality coming from Sony, and the film in no way disappoints in that department.
• The Making of The Brothers Grimsby
• The Elephant in the Room
• Line-O-Rama: Hilarious Outtakes
• Blooper Reel
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
“The Brothers Grimsby” is a bit of a rushed affair, and it stretches the limits of one’s ability to handle pure, unadulterated stupidity. Sacha Baron Cohen makes yet another memorable comedic persona, but the amount of sheer offensive stupidity and hurriedly paced shooting style creates a mixed reaction from this viewer. On one hand I really enjoyed some of the lunacy, but on the other hand there were parts that had my jaw hanging to the floor (and not in a good way). There’s plenty of hits, but plenty of misses along the way, and you have to have a taste for offensive (borderline shocking) humor to really appreciate some of the more vicious gags. The audio and video are certainly fantastic, and the extras are just as graphicly stupid as the film is, so I would have to say it’d be worth renting before deciding if you really want to buy it.
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Penelope Cruz
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Written by: Sacha Baron Coen, Phil Johnston
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DD 5.1 (descriptive)
Runtime: 83 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 21st, 2016
Buy The Brothers Grimsby On Blu-ray at Amazon
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