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Louis Leterrier
Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Penelope Cruz, Rebel WilsonIsla Fisher, Gabourey Sidibe
Writing Credits:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston, and Peter Baynham

A new assignment forces a top spy to team up with his soccer hooligan brother.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$3,258,327 on 2,235 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 83 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date: 6/21/2015

• “The Making of The Brothers Grimsby” Featurette
• “The Elephant in the Room” Featurette
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “Line-O-Rama”
• Gag Reel
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Brothers Grimsby [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 14, 2016)

Though already known for his ”Ali G” character, Sacha Baron Cohen didn’t achieve true fame in the US until 2006. That fall, he released Borat, a “mockumentary” that became a commercial hit and appeared to mark Cohen as a major cinematic presence.

Or maybe not. Cohen followed Borat with another character-based spoof, 2009’s Bruno. Though it didn’t tank at the box office, it made less than half of Borat’s gross, so it certainly disappointed.

Perhaps chastened by that experience, Cohen avoided the “mockumentary”/improvised nature of the prior two films and went with a more traditional scripted effort via 2012’s The Dictator. It didn’t change the trajectory, which meant Dictator almost exactly replicated the mediocre grosses of Bruno.

Cohen returned as a lead actor via 2016’s The Brothers Grimsby, and it bombed – hoo boy, did it bomb! Grimsby earned a miserable $6 million in the US, and it didn’t do a whole lot better overseas.

How this impacts Cohen’s ability to get subsequent vehicles off the ground remains to be seen, but it can’t bode well. It’s been 10 years since Cohen’s only hit.

While I find Cohen to be talented, the poor reception that Grimsby received scared me a bit. Still, I figured I’d give Grimsby a look – how bad could it be?

As orphaned children, Nobby Butcher (Cohen) separates from his brother Sebastian (Mark Strong) when Sebastian gets adopted while Nobby stays in foster care. 28 years later, we see that Nobby lives in squalor with his wife Dawn (Rebel Wilson) and nine children.

Over the decades, though, Nobby tried to find his brother. When he does locate him, Nobby learns that Sebastian became a top agent at MI6. Nobby finds himself immersed in Sebastian’s secret spy life – with wacky results.

I first heard of Grimsby when Cohen appeared on an American talk show. He presented the trailer to Grimsby, and I honestly thought it was a fake. The movie looked so stupid and awful that I figured Cohen was sending up bad films with a phony promo.

Imagine my surprise when I learned Brothers Grimsby actually existed! It’s an awfully bad sign when a movie appears to be a spoof of bad films but isn’t – that seems like a poor backdrop for a successful cinematic experience.

I’d like to say that Grimsby exceeds my low expectations, but it’s just as awful as I figured it would be – and maybe even worse. Relentlessly stupid and disgusting, nary a moment of the film passes without cringe-worthy material.

Because Dictator stepped away from the gross-out tendencies of Borat and Bruno, I hoped that Cohen would continue along that path. Though I can’t say I loved Dictator, I mostly enjoyed it. It de-emphasized the graphic nastiness of its two predecessors and went with fairly good satire.

Alas, Grimsby goes back to the nauseating well, and it does so with frequency. The filmmakers mistake a willingness to be offensive and distasteful for actual wit, so we’re stuck with an incessant parade of revolting sequences, each one worse than the last.

This is a film that revels in the chance to mock an AIDS-infected youngster and throw every bodily fluid imaginable around the screen. It subjects us to a very long scene in which Nobby and Sebastian find themselves literally stuck inside an elephant’s vagina while multiple males have their way with her. In theory, this sounds horrific – in reality, it’s even worse, and it lacks any form of humor.

And so on. Virtually no sense of wit or cleverness emerges, and even if the rare sequence threatens to become comedic, director Louis Leterrier fails to milk it. Leterrier comes from the world of action flicks like Incredible Hulk and The Transporter, movies that came with occasional amusing moments but that didn’t rely on those to succeed.

Confronted with an actual comedy, Leterrier appears lost. He bludgeons any potential wit to death with choices that lack subtlety. Granted, I can’t imagine any director could’ve turned Grimsby into a winner, but Leterrier actively makes it worse.

Which seems remarkable, as other than an overqualified cast, everything about The Brothers Grimsby foretells failure. Relentlessly idiotic and repellent, the movie marks Sacha Baron Cohen’s career nadir.

Note: after the end credits, a comedic tag line appears.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

The Brothers Grimsby appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.

Overall definition looked good. Though a few wide shots showed mild softness, the majority of the film appeared accurate and concise. I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. No print flaws cropped up either.

Though Brothers offered a pretty standard orange and teal palette, at least it could claim to use those hues to parody modern action flicks. Whatever rationale one swallows, the colors looked fine. Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots showed good clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this fine image.

Given its moderate action orientation, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 opened up more than one would expect from a comedy. Though the film didn’t include as many slam-bang set pieces as a typical action flick, it brought out some good sequences. When the track needed to expand during car chases, gun battles and the like, it used the full spectrum well.

Elements were properly placed and moved about the setting in a convincing way. The surrounds contributed a nice sense of space and involvement. Music depicted positive stereo imaging and the entire presentation offered a good feeling of environment.

Audio quality fared well. Speech was accurate and distinctive, without notable edginess or other issues. Music sounded full-blooded and rich, as the score was rendered nicely. Effects showed good range and definition. They demonstrated solid low-end and were impressive across the board. Ultimately, this was a positive track.

Among the disc’s extras, we get two featurettes. The Making of The Brothers Grimsby runs 11 minutes, 50 seconds and offers info from writer/executive producer Phil Johnston, director Louis Leterrier, producers Todd Schulman, Anthony Hines and Peter Baynham, stunt coordinator Adam Kirley, special effects supervisor Steven Warner, and actors Sacha Baron Cohen, Rebel Wilson, Gabourey Sidibe, Mark Strong, Annabelle Wallis, Ricky Tomlinson, Johnny Vegas, and Isla Fisher.

The piece covers the project’s origins and development, story/characters, cast and performances, stunts, action, and effects, Leterrier’s approach to the material, and locations. Though brief, “Making” offers pretty efficient overview.

During the four-minute, 21-second Elephant in the Room, we hear from Cohen, Leterrier, Baynham, Warner, Sidibe, and prosthetics coodinator Rob Carlisle. This clip examines the elements used to create the scene in which Nobby and Sebastian wind up inside an elephant’s vagina. It’s disgusting but informative.

We also get three Deleted Scenes (8:54) and three Extended Scenes (9:02). Two of the three “Deleted Scenes” actually offer some decent material. “Job Interview” makes Nobby more sympathetic, and “Pump Up Speech” gives his wife more to do; since parts of it appeared in the trailer, it’s a surprising omission. “Cardinal Burns Forensics” provides a running thread in which an expert eats residue to determine its nature; it just gets too disgusting to amuse.

As for the “Extended Scenes”, these work less well. “Elephant Vagina” is awful in the theatrical cut, so more of that nasty footage is a bad thing. “Cargo Plane” and “Bath Tub” lack this intense “ick factor”, but they don’t add anything to the movie.

More cut material shows up via Line-O-Rama. In this two-minute, 21-second compilation, we see alternate bits of dialogue. These do little for me, but fans might enjoy them.

Finally, a Gag Reel takes up two minutes, 34 seconds. This consists of the usual laughs and mistakes, which makes it forgettable.

The disc opens with ads for The Night Before, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, Ghostbusters (2016), The Bronze, Hello, My Name Is Doris and Sausage Party. No trailer for Brothers appears here.

Consistently crude and disgusting, The Brothers Grimsby delivers lowest common denominator filmmaking. Nary a clever, witty moment arrives in this unpleasant hurlfest. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio but includes only minor supplements. This ends up as a terrible movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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