BORAT lovers beware: Sacha Baron Cohen's first small-to-big screen transfer is nowhere near as hilarious as the 2006 comic smash that turned a fictional Kazakh reporter into the most beloved cinematic buffoon since Austin Powers. Released in the U.K. in 2002 to capitalize on the popularity of Cohen's wannabe gangster alter ego, this low-rent, gross-out comedy went straight-to-DVD in the U.S. when Da Ali G Show premiered on cable and boasts none of BORAT's glorious anarchy, social commentary or sly wit.
Unlike BORAT and Da Ali G Show, in which Cohen remained deep in character, the better to outrage and embarrass unwitting victims in unscripted kamikaze improvs, this is a traditional affair weighed down by a lame screenplay (cowritten by Cohen and frequent collaborator Dan Mazer) and in no way enriched by name actors slumming in tacky roles. The grammatically challenged Ali G (Cohen) is tapped to run for parliament by an underhanded politico (Charles Dance) who hopes to create a scandal and thereby oust the current Prime Minister (Michael Gambon, who apparently took the role in a fit of Michael Caine envy). Touted as the voice of the young generation, Ali G becomes a national hero despite his dazzling idiocy. During his time as a government official, he watches confiscated hardcore porn ("most of it from Germany"), comes on to every "bitch" he meets, including the Queen, gets the leaders of the world stoned, and manages to save his local community center, his shaky romance with homegirl "Me Julie" (Kellie Bright) and the Prime Minister's reputation.
The MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) meets BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO (1984) plot is just an excuse for a string of lowbrow slapdash gags: a dog licking Ali G's testicles, a parade of scantily clad-women, a bevy of fart, poop and gay jokes and last but not least, the sight of Dance shaking his rump in a red pleather miniskirt. BORAT and Da Ali G Show worked on a satirical level, revealing the naivete and hypocrisy of real people both powerful and plebian and holding up a mirror to modern-day society. But ALI G INDAHOUSE simply revels in mainstream inanity, doing its incremental bit to dumb down the popular movie going experience and encourage rampant stupidity. There's nothing funny about that.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: R
- Review: BORAT lovers beware: Sacha Baron Cohen's first small-to-big screen transfer is nowhere near as hilarious as the 2006 comic smash that turned a fictional Kazakh reporter into the most beloved cinematic buffoon since Austin Powers. Released in the U.K. in 20… (more)