Sacha Baron Cohen Finds Long-Lost Brother in Controversial Comedy ‘The Brothers Grimsby’
Sacha Baron Cohen, the man behind “Borat,” is back at in the more conventional comedy “The Brothers Grimsby.” Baron Cohen stars in this spy action comedy as Norman “Nobby” Butcher, a football hooligan living in a poor fishing town in Northern England with girlfriend Dawn (Rebel Wilson) and their nine children. All that’s missing in his life is his little brother from whom he was separated as a child when different families adopted them.
After 28 years apart, Nobby finally discovers the whereabouts of his brother Sebastian (Mark Strong), who’s now a top assassin for the British government. After Nobby surprises Sebastian on the job and causes him to accidentally shoot the wrong man, the brothers are forced to go on the run together. On their tail is Rhonda George (Penelope Cruz), an evil terrorist who has a scheme to spread a deadly virus using missiles.
Not unusual for a Sacha Baron Cohen Film, “The Brothers Grimsby” has garnered some controversy. The film includes a scene in which presidential candidate Donald Trump accidentally contracts AIDS. The scene was reportedly met with whoops and laughter at the film’s Los Angeles and London premieres, some are calling the gag tasteless, claiming AIDS is never a laughing matter. Although Sony pushed for the removal of the scene from the film’s final cut, Baron Cohen, also a producer who had final authority, refused.
Baron Cohen has also received criticism for his recent appearance at the Oscars. As his character Ali G, the comic made a joke that many found to be offensive toward Asians. Although he never received the okay from the Academy to come onstage as his alter ego, he was able to sneak past officials with the help of his wife Isla Fisher, who smuggled his costume under her gown and helped him transform in a bathroom stall just minutes before he went on air.
“The Brothers Grimsby” was co-written by Baron Cohen along with “Zootopia” writer Phil Johnston and Peter Baynham with whom he collaborated on his previous films “Borat” and “Bruno.” Louis Leterrier, the man behind the action flicks “Clash of the Titans” and “The Incredible Hulk,” directed.
“The Brothers Grimsby” opens nationwide March 11.