We've come to expect Sacha Baron Cohen's movies to be bad-taste comedies which are at least vaguely about something. Characters like Ali G, Bruno and Borat all mocked social norms or satirised wonky attitudes and opinions. 'Grimsby' is different. It's a silly, raucous, unashamedly juvenile fish-out-of-water comedy about two very different brothers, Sebastian (Mark Strong), a slick spy, and Nobby (Baron Cohen), a football-loving layabout, who were separated as kids at an orphanage.
'Grimsby' doesn't pretend to have much to say about anything - notwithstanding a final tongue-in-cheek plea on behalf of 'scum' ('It's scum who keep the "Fast and Furious" franchise alive'), which plays more as a late gag than a theme. Instead it rides on base-level shock and awe, patched together with knob jokes, fat jokes, semen jokes, HIV jokes and arse jokes. If you're looking for a message, you'll be disappointed.
The film reunites the brothers and quickly sends them on the run. Director Louis Leterrier ('Clash of the Titans') drags the pair through the short, sharp ordeal of a spirited action comedy, all quick cuts and daring stunts, and one that just happens to feature an endearing but relatively limp Sacha Baron Cohen character at its core.