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CATHERINE KRUMMEY: Not much works in 'Grimsby'

Gross-out humor and crass jokes have their place in entertainment, and the best movies to include this usually temper their over-the-top humor with more straightforward scenes.

Mark Strong and Sacha Baron Cohen star in "The Brothers Grimsby," now playing in theaters. (Columbia Pictures)
Mark Strong and Sacha Baron Cohen star in "The Brothers Grimsby," now playing in theaters. (Columbia Pictures)

Gross-out humor and crass jokes have their place in entertainment, and the best movies to include this usually temper their over-the-top humor with more straightforward scenes.

"The Brothers Grimsby" doesn't do this, jumping from one disgusting gross-out scene to the next without much of a transition. The middle of the film is so overloaded with some of the most disgusting sexual situations that viewers might just want to walk out and miss the film's predictable ending.

To top it all off, much of the film borders on being misogynistic and homophobic, putting it on the wrong side of crass to make it pretty much unwatchable.

An unsuccessful marriage of comedy and action, Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong play long-lost brothers in "The Brothers Grimsby." Cohen's Nobby is a rabid soccer fan who stayed in their hometown of Grimsby, while Strong's Sebastian is an MI6 spy.

Nobby tracks Sebastian down after decades only to set a series of events in motion that make Sebastian look like a criminal. The two reluctantly team up to put a stop to the real criminals' sinister plot tied to a worldwide health scare.

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Rounding out the cast are Rebel Wilson as Nobby's wife and Isla Fisher as Sebastian's MI6 handler, while Penelope Cruz, fresh off another what-was-she-thinking role in "Zoolander 2," plays an actress turned health activist in "The Brothers Grimsby."

The overall idea of the plot is interesting, and the action scenes are well-choreographed, but that is not enough to make this miserable film worth watching.

Fortunately, the movie only runs for an hour and 20 minutes, but even that feels a little too long.

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THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY

One out of five stars.

Time: 1:23

MPAA rating: R for strong crude sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, language and some drug use

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