Sacha Baron Cohen, the funnyman who gave the world Borat, Ali G, and numerous other rip-roaring parodies, is no everyman. That’s a contention being made by critics of his new and willfully ludicrous The Brothers Grimsby — that Cohen isn’t laughing with us, he’s laughing at us. So says the Leicester Mercury, and right now nobody represents the common person’s dreams and aspirations better than Leicester — as Leicester City FC robs the Premiere League title from regulation toffs like Arsenal and Chelsea. The Leicester Mercury offers this description of The Brothers Grimsby: “In which the privately-schooled, Oxbridge-educated multimillionaire Sacha Baron Cohen invites us to laugh at his latest creation: a bloke with no job and 11 kids.”
Okay but it’s an absurdist comedy, you set up wacky scenarios to make them go. (In real life Grimsby‘s Nobby Butcher would have no more than 8 kids.) But the Leicester Mercury says Cohen picked the wrong target — the working class “scum” — this time out and it’s a bad choice. Let’s be clear, Cohen doesn’t care about offending people — royalty or “scum.” But he was a good champion for the fringe and dispossessed in forays like Ali G and Borat, which delivered most of their direct hits on rich and/or stupid targets that don’t get taken down enough. This kind of thing is probably what made former Oasis frontman and dedicated non-toff Noel Gallagher want to stab Cohen in both eyes. Pretty sure Sacha Baron Cohen finds the criticism hilarious. After all the adventure kicks off when a black, disabled boy with HIV gets shot at a human rights conference. Now there’s some comedy. Wow..