POO jokes, bodily fluids and butt cracks with firecrackers.
Grimsby could never be mistaken as being Steven Spielberg’s return to feel-good family film territory; no, it can only be the work of Sacha Baron Cohen.
Cohen is not so much interested in pushing the envelope of good taste as he is obliterating it until only tiny shards are left, as is evident with the increasing number of times he delights in referencing animal genitals and faeces.
Shedding the satirical edge he had over his fellow gross-out gag-loving peers such as Adam Sandler and the Farrelly brothers with his past characters Borat and Bruno, Cohen opts for full steam ahead with squirm-inducing gross-out stuff that would make the most cast-iron stomached person dry wretch.
Noddy (Cohen), a poor, welfare-cheating, baby-making, football fan hooligan of small town Grimsby, is reunited with his brother Sebastian (Mark Strong) after almost 30 years apart.
Since they were separated as mischievous kids, their lives took them on vastly different paths – Sebastian is now one of the country’s most skilled spies for MI6.
Their reunion comes smack bang in the middle of Sebastian trying to save a humanitarian (Penelope Cruz) from assassination, but they both end up in peril.
A sliver of Cohen’s comedic intelligence (the satire of Borat and Bruno was razor sharp) is still evident amidst the orgy of un-PC moments.
Ultimately, there is no point to this story (except as an ode to low socio-economic citizens maybe?), no encouragement of its audience to reflect on why it is laughing at these jokes as he has done in the past.
This time it is just pure entertainment and with big budget-looking action sequences and ear-shattering sound that would make Michael Bay wince, it does succeed on this level.
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson
Three and a half stars
Review by Julian Wright
In cinemas now