The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

So about that elephant scene in ‘The Brothers Grimsby’…

Placeholder while article actions load

This post contains spoilers about “The Brothers Grimsby.”

A few weeks ago, Sacha Baron Cohen appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to promote his new movie, “The Brothers Grimsby.” During such an appearance, a late-night host would normally play a film clip to entice movie-goers to buy a ticket, but Kimmel wasn’t prepared to do that. The scene Cohen brought along was so grotesque, so outlandish, so wildly inappropriate, the host couldn’t air it on network television. Instead, he showed the clip to his studio audience, and let viewers at home watch the reactions.

It was pretty savvy marketing, especially once people started groaning, guffawing, covering their mouths and crying. What is in this movie? people at home wondered. And now that the spy spoof is out, we have our answer.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘The Brothers Grimsby’ is just trying to gross you out

Just how shocking is it? Let’s take a look at some of the most eye-popping moments:

The part when Donald Trump contracts HIV

Early on in the movie, an orphaned, wheelchair-bound, HIV-positive boy gets accidentally shot in the arm. His blood flies through the air and lands in the mouth of Daniel Radcliffe (played by Matthew Baldwin). In my movie theater, the response to Harry Potter contracting a deadly disease was decidedly less enthusiastic than the movie’s grand finale, when the same thing happens — with a twist. This time Radcliffe gets shot in the arm and, as “Hail to the Chief” plays, his blood flies into the mouth of Donald Trump.

According to the Huffington Post, this scene was a headache for Sony. Still reeling from the fallout from “The Interview,” the studio supposedly tried to get Cohen to cut the scene. When that didn’t work, Sony allegedly decided not to promote the movie at all. Is it true? Sony denied it, though Trump is famously litigious.

I can say, however, that no one did publicity for the movie in the D.C. area. And that is very strange indeed.

The infamous elephant scene

This was the scene that Kimmel showed to his audience. It begins with Cohen’s Nobby and his brother Sebastian (Mark Strong) in South Africa on the run from scary dudes. The two men hide out in the only place they can find cover — inside an elephant’s vagina. It doesn’t look so bad in there, honestly, and the men have plenty of space to spread out. But things take a turn when a male pachyderm declares it mating season and starts getting busy… while the guys are still inside.

The scrotum bit

Super-spy Sebastian has all kinds of methods for surviving brutal attacks. When his ankle breaks, he pulls out a hypodermic needle filled with magical liquid that fixes the fracture. And when he gets shot by a poison dart, he knows the only solution is for Nobby to suck the deadly fluid from the puncture wound. Naturally, the arrow hit Sebastian right in the cojones.

Anyone who saw the naked wrestling scene in “Borat” knows that Cohen doesn’t like to leave much to the imagination, so the audience is treated to many close-ups from various angles and let’s just say it isn’t pretty. It is, however, one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

The firecracker sodomy

Pop quiz, hotshot: Two fireworks are set to explode at any moment, unleashing a deadly virus onto an entire stadium full of people. What do you do?

If you’re Nobby and Sebastian, you pull down your pants, sit on the firecrackers just so and wait for blast-off while holding hands.

Myriad lesser shenanigans

“The Brothers Grimsby” is positively brimming with moments designed to shock. There’s the time that Nobby and his girlfriend get it on at a mattress store to test out the merchandise; the thoroughly described toilet clog; the nauseating aftermaths of the firecracker and elephant incidents; and the “Basic Instinct” homages. (That’s right, multiple.)

Is it all astonishing? Sure. But funny? Eh, sometimes.

Loading...