With moments of ingenious hilarity, Grimsby is a James Bond-esque spoof infused with extreme buddy-buddy antics. Unfortunately it just goes far too far with its extremities.Sebastian Graves is one of MI6's top secret agents; able to infiltrate and take out dozens of gun-toting terrorists, he won't stop until he's taken down his target. But when his long-lost brother, Nobby, finds him in the middle of an operation, things spiral out of control. Wanted for murder, and on the run from his own agency, Sebastian is forced to lay low in his and Nobby's home town of Grimsby and, eventually, forced to come to terms with the fact that he may need Nobby's help if he wants to get out of this mess. Grimsby - also known Stateside as The Brothers Grimsby - cleverly posits a world where everybody takes their roles extremely seriously, and where it's only Sacha Baron Cohen's mishap-prone idiot who stands out in the mix. This works extremely well for the Bondian formula, as the pair go chasing terrorists around the world, causing mayhem along the way. Cohen nails the character, and delivers some of his funniest touches in years - not least in his faux secret agent accent, which he feels the need to effect when he is forced to go on a mission, and which sounds like a really bad imitation of Connery's Bond - and there are also some exceptional comedy moments between him and Mark Strong, whose straight foil is the perfect counterpart to Cohen's over-the-top troublemaker.Unfortunately, despite the promise, and the frequently effective delivery, Grimsby elects to - more often than not - go too far in its gag department: a funny sequence involving sucking poison out of a wound goes on about 60 painful seconds too long, and utterly ruins the already-extreme joke; a ridiculous scene involving a herd of elephants (which might as well have been in Tom Green's infamous Freddy Got Fingered) follows suit and, shockingly, feels like it was actually abbreviated from an even longer first take, despite the fact that the end result here still manages to take gross-out to a numbing extreme. Grimsby has some great laughs including its self-awareness, pop culture references (including Cohen's personal dig at long-term nemesis Liam Gallagher by having his character look like him), high octane action (with an innovative opening POV action sequence), atypical setting and characterisations, and excellent lead cast all hitting the mark. However unfortunately too many of its gags seem intent on making you actually gag. It's one of those movies where you wished there had been a theatrical cut with some of these moments tempered, and that this version was just the 'extreme' edition that you'd be happy to have as an additional curio, but would be unlikely to ever watch again.
Picture QualityGrimsby looks and sounds excellent on Sony's UK Blu-ray.
The Region Free UK Blu-ray boasts a largely hard to fault 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation, framed in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen, boasting excellent detail and impressive clarity during all of the sequences, large or small. Skin textures and background flourishes are picked up on, whilst the colour scheme - intentionally stylised to suit the faux globe-trotting spy actioner theme (but for Grimsby itself, of course, which looks, despite not actually being shot on location, like a suitably sorry hell-hole) - boasts strong tones amidst the over-saturated hot-temperature look. With strong black levels and no overt digital anomalies - the image remains largely pristine and lives up to Sony's fairly consistent reputation - Grimsby generally looks extremely good on Blu-ray.
Sound QualityThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is just as impressive.
Leveling the dialogue clearly and coherently across the front and centre channels, with firm prioritisation across the array, Grimsby's gags land hard and fast and won't go overlooked, but the effects provide welcome background accompaniment, engaging almost as well as you'd expect from a straight spy actioner, with plenty of thundering gunshots, explosions and car crashes to liven up the track. The surrounds get plenty of action as a result, and the ambient atmospherics are almost as well observed as the more punchy elements; the latter of which bring forth a fair amount of LF action too. With a suitably boisterous score, Grimsby maintains its great (technical) impression on the aural front.
ExtrasGrimsby comes feature-laden in the extras department, with a Making-Of Documentary, Elephant in the Room Featurette, and a stack of Deleted Scenes and alternate line features - the Line-o-rama and gag reel - adding to the hilarity for those who reveled in it first time around.
VerdictGrimsby had the potential to be a great comedy, but instead goes to great lengths to make you feel uncomfortable. And succeeds.
There's gross-out comedy and there's gross-out comedy, and whilst Sacha Baron Cohen is no stranger to extreme humour, here he may even go too far for his own fanbase, with some gags rivaling the likes of Tom Green's infamous Freddy Got Fingered. Sony's Blu-ray release looks and sounds excellent and has a solid selection of extra material offering plenty more laughs for fans to lap up. Those who haven't seen it should test the waters first.
You can buy Grimsby on Blu-ray here
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