Top 10... - June 24, 2016

Grimsby (and 10 of Sacha Baron Cohen's best moments)
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor,

Grimsby (and 10 of Sacha Baron Cohen's best moments)

Channel 4's late-night satire The 11'o'Clock Show helped to launch the careers of several well-known actors and comedians including Ricky Gervais, Sarah Alexander and Mackenzie Crook, but when the show was first broadcast in 1998 it was Sacha Baron Cohen, in the guise of his comic creation Ali G, that became the programme's standout performer. Thought to be a parody inspired by former Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood, Ali G's angle as a white man under the delusion he is black was funny enough in itself, but his real skill lay in convincing his unwitting interview subjects that he was real, letting them assume that his appearance and way of speaking would appeal to the young people they were hoping to reach.

Baron Cohen has continued to create a series of parodic characters like the flamboyant fashion reporter Bruno, the Kazakh journalist Borat and Admiral General Aladeen, dictator of the fictional Republic of Wadiya, each time using his latest guise to skewer the ignorance of those he encounters, but if they have one thing in common it is their ability to generate controversy.

His latest outing is no exception. Grimsby sees him playing the role of Nobby Butcher, one of a pair of brothers partially raised in an orphanage who are separated at a young age when his younger brother, Sebastian, is adopted by a well-heeled family. As the years pass, their lives take very different paths. Sebastian goes on to be one of the country's top secret agents. Nobby, meanwhile, grows up to be a beer-swilling football hooligan and the father of nine children. It's not a flattering image and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the film's portrayal of Grimsby hasn't gone down too well with the residents of the Lincolnshire fishing, despite the fact that most of the location filming was actually done in the Essex town of Tillsbury (whose residents weren't too pleased either).

In actual fact, the town itself doesn't have a huge part to play in terms of the film's plot. When Nobby is informed by friends that they have tracked down his long-lost brother and that he is due to appear at charity event, Nobby decides to pay Sebastian a visit. What he doesn't know however is that Sebastian's presence there is as an undercover agent tasked with foiling an assassination plot and when Nobby causes Sebastian to accidentally shoot a child with AIDS instead of his target, MI5 assumes that Sebastian has gone rogue and the brothers are soon on the run.

Sebastian is forced to accept the help of his half-witted brother in order to clear his name and stop the organisation responsible for the assassination attempt, but with them and the government trying to shut them down – not to mention Nobby's knack for creating more problems than he solves – it won't be easy.

Mark Strong stars opposite Baron Cohen as Nobby's more intelligent brother, while the rest of the cast includes Rebel Wilson, David Harewood, Tamsin Egerton, Ricky Tomlinson and Johnny Vegas. Louis Leterrier, whose previous films include Now You See Me and The Transporter, is the man in the director's chair.

You can find a trailer for Grimsby below, beneath that we've picked out 10 of Sacha Baron Cohen's funniest moments...




Ali G tackles feminism

Ali G turns to Professor Sue Leece for advice on feminism, but it's not what he thinks it is...


Borat learns etiquette

The Kazakh reporter learns some appropriate conversation for the dinner table...


Ali G interviews the Beckhams

“When Brooklyn grows up do you want him to be a footballer like his dad, or a singer... like Mariah Carey?”


The Borat wrestling scene

Not for the faint-hearted. Consider yourself warned...


Bruno interviews Pastor Quinn

The “sexually ambiguous” Austrian talks homosexuality with tan American pastor known as 'the Gay Converter'...


Admiral General Aladeen spills the ashes of Kim Jong-Il on Ryan Seacrest

Poor Ryan. He does his best to style it out, but he's crying inside...


Ali G talks socialism with Tony Benn

One of the few interview subjects to come out with any credit, Tony Benn tries to explain to Ali what 'Welfare' means...


Sacha Baron Cohen pranks the BAFTAs

Presented with the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy, his acceptance speech doesn't go well...


Borat sings the Kazakh national anthem at a rodeo

The crowd gets a little hostile...


Ali G gets Mohamed Al Fayed to sing

“Here comes the shopkeeper...”

Grimsby Louis Leterrier

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