Ali G Indahouse (2004)
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Critic Reviews for Ali G Indahouse
A raw comedy that is intermittently hilarious as it attacks pretty much every taboo around.
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Audience Reviews for Ali G Indahouse
Well alongside his fame and fortune Sacha Baron Cohen has also managed to achieve such a high level of notoriety with his urban character, that the actual town of Staines changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames to get away from the negativity. That's pretty impressive Mr Cohen, you made an English town change its historic name, is that funny?. Like many TV characters that have reached the big screen this whole thing feels padded out, forced and struggling for material. Unfortunately this is no different despite being a brilliant and popular creation by Cohen. I think it was a bad choice to go down the actual movie with a plot route as we all know this character like all of Cohen's characters works better when lampooning reality. Seeing the highly naive and thick Ali G trying to strike a conversation with a real politician about current affairs only for him to lower the tone and go off on completely random filthy tangent is what its all about. Hearing Ali comment on his bitch 'Julie' or his various friends from Staines and the things they get up too is amusing to listen too, but to actually now see these people spoils the myth as it were. Of course the biggest draw with Ali G is the highly accurate satirical mocking of young British teens (black and white) who imitate the American rapper gang culture. This is the crux of his laughs, his not so secret weapon, talking with this modern day slang cum multicultural cockney hip-hop dialect that is frankly cringeworthy to listen too when anyone speaks with it, especially white folk. Add to that his heavily Jamaican/Afro American/UK chav influenced streetwise attire with bling, tracksuits and big trainers and you have a great controversial character ready for upset public figures. Thing is all of this is completely lost in the film because there is none of that, its just a silly bland plot about Ali trying to save a community centre in Staines. There are no funny clever stinging moments because its a scripted movie, instead they must rely on childish toilet humour which only works part of the time, its immediately unoriginal and loses all credibility. Coupled with the fact the cast is made up of big names merely sinks this project even further, big names equals no risks, no proper laughs, no awkwardness or embarrassing moments, its all played safe which is not what Cohen and his creations are about. Now I would be lying if I said there were no funny moments in this film, there aren't many but they are there. For me personally the best and most recognisable lampooning of my home country would be at the start of the film when Ali is 'street racing' in his hyper modded Renault down the high street. This very short sequence is extremely amusing because of the stringent UK road laws and the fact we have to drive at 20-30mph everywhere. Watching these two uber modded cars crawl down the high street at 30...pulling up sharply at the 20mph speed board is hilarious, literately the best bit in the film. Its actually reasonably funny during the start of the film whilst Ali is within his home territory of Staines and his mates. After that as we follow him to Westminster it just loses any fresh comedy hopes and becomes so derivative, the character of Ali G does grow somewhat but only in the wrong way. Instead of the chavy boorish dunderhead we all know and love we end up with some Americanised superfly looking pimp that just feels too much of a stretch even for this character. We all know about the typical UK traits that Ali G represents, we all roll our eyes at the image he portrays because we all see it in our daily lives, that's why its so funny. If you take that away and go down another countries cultural route then your target audience won't relate to it anymore, simple as that. In the end this film has just gone too far over the top with the character and its just not funny. Had it been a mockumentary style flick like 'Borat' then it would have worked I'm sure, but this option doesn't. Its basically puerile with dated stupid visuals gags and must resort to showing Charles Dance in drag to try and raise a laugh, and it fails at that. Such a huge huge error for the direction of this film that has resulted in a very very average outcome.
I won't lie; I love the first thirty minutes of this film. I have the film on my phone and occasionally play parts of these first thirty minutes when I need a good laugh. The rest of the film, however, is more or less rubbish and lacks much of the wit and satire that Da Ali G Show so often displayed. Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G is a brilliant character, particularly in the way he criticizes cultural stereotypes and subverts anyone who seems to have a superiority complex over people. The show featured real life politicians and celebrities, whereas Ali G Indahouse is a fictionalized story centred around Ali G and the life he most likely would be living. The film's set up (the first thirty minutes) is intriguing because it shows him as a middle class suburbanite who actually fears authority and respects his grandmother. He isn't the most intelligent person, so it's possible that his decision to dress and act as a thug reflects his inability to fit into society on "normal" terms. However, the film doesn't do much with this premise. It transcends into a series of unfunny dick and fart jokes set to a ridiculous plot that barely holds the story together. Ali G fans will still want to watch this. There are some funny lines that will/have become very quotable, but the film itself does not have that much merit beyond the first act.
This is one of those movies where the hype totally kills it. I absolutely hated the film. I thought it was a poorly written comedy, one that had no merits in terms of delivering good laughs and something really memorable. This film proves one thing, Sasha Baron Cohen can only do stereotypical humor, and it gets tiresome. Borat and Bruno were decent films, nothing ever great, but they had their moments. However Cohen can't do a comedic routine without playing the stereotype card. The result is a film that falls flat with pointless, stupid comedic bits that just doesn't work. The script is poorly written out; a film that just relies on stereotypes to make you laugh really isn't as good as you'd think. Luckily with the recent film, The Dictator, Cohen proves once and for all that he has one trick up his sleeve, and he's slowly becoming a horrible comedian that can only do one thing. Ali G Indahouse is an overrated film that plainly isn't worth your time. My friends were going nuts at how "funny" this film was, I didn't see the point of it all. I laughed twice during the whole film. This is one of the worst comedies I've ever had the misfortune to see, and it really is one of those films that don't deliver in the laugh department. The script is poor, the acting is horrible and the direction is unfocused. Maybe someone can do a better job with doing a comedy with stereotypes and make it actually funny, but Cohen is a hit and miss comedian who can't seem to do anything really creative with his characters aside from using them in an offensive, stereotypical fashion of which it becomes predictable. This is a horrible comedy, one that was pretty much dead as soon as it started.
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