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29 October 2014

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Review: Ali G Indahouse
Ali outside the Houses of Parliament
Ali outside the Houses of Parliament

TV rude boy Ali G's screen debut is finally upon us.

Is Ali G Indahouse a hit or a miss?

Read on...


Ali G Indahouse

Ali G

Ali G Translator

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Martin Freeman who plays Ali's best friend Ricky C is a regular in BBC2's award-winning comedy the Office.

Ali G's musical collaboration with Shaggy - 'Me Julie' which appears on the movie soundtrack reached number 2 in the UK charts.

Ali G first appeared in a five minute slot on the satirical Channel 4 programme The 11 O' Clock Show.

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Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Kellie Bright, Martin Freeman, Charles Dance, Michael Gambon, Tony Way
Directed by: Mark Mylod
Screenplay by: Sacha Baron Cohen and dan Mazer
Distributor: UIP
Running Time: 88 mins
Certificate: 15

I suppose it was inevitable. Once Sacha Baron Cohen's comic alter ego Ali G was rightfully awarded iconic status for injecting something new into British comedy, it was only a matter of time before a feature film was greenlit.

Ali G Indahouse closely adheres to the winning formula concocted for the recent Kevin and Perry go Large.

Harry Enfield successfully adapted his obnoxiously adolescent TV creations for the silver screen by throwing in a liberal dose of unashamed toilet humour. This translated into a highly respectable box office hit that surely convinced the makers of Ali G Indahouse that their vehicle was also worthy of the big screen treatment.

Indeed, the first 10 minutes of Ali G Indahouse follows that of Kevin and Perry to the letter, with the main character deep in an elaborate reverie that turns into a rudely awakened wet dream.

Unfortunately another similarity they share is that like Kevin and Perry, Ali G is a character now well past his sell by date. This is never moreso apparent than in this dire movie.

The plot, such as it is involves Ali being drawn into the Machiavellian world of British politics by unscrupulous Deputy PM David Carlton (Charles Dance).

Carlton sets up the inept and naive wannabe Gangsta rapper as Parliamentary Candidate for Staines on the basis that he would offer 'street' appeal to his constituency. His real aim however, is to embarrass the Prime Minister (Michael Gambon) out of office and nab the job for himself.

Unfortunately, The jokes are firmly of the 'groan' variety which favour base humour over wit every time.

Ali gets jiggy with 'Me Julie'
Ali gets jiggy with 'Me Julie'

No taboo goes unexploited, whether its bestiality, homophobia or sexism. All fair game you might say and I'm certainly no prude but the gags generally fall flat or just leave you shaking your head instead of laughing it off.

It has been proved with the likes of There's Something About Mary and American Pie that politically incorrect and tasteless movies can be genuinely hilarious, but the calibre of this screenplay is in an utterly inferior league.

One wonders what possessed Gambon and Dance to lend their award-winning talents to this misfire. In his favour, Dance at least looks positively humiliated throughout. Not least when dressed in drag at the finale.

The funniest scene in the whole film is a brief flashback sequence to when Ali and Julie first met. It amusingly shows a younger Ali as a long-haired Goth slow-dancing in a disco which adds a wafer-thin layer of substance to the character, who if we didn't already realise, is clearly a shallow disciple of fickle fashion trends.

Baron Cohen's as yet, only other character, Borat, also makes a cameo along with the likes of Naomi Campbell, Richard and Judy, John Humphreys and Jon Snow.

There is mild enjoyment in seeing oft-talked about but never seen characters like Ali's girlfriend, Me Julie (Kellie Bright) and his hapless friends Ricky C (Martin Freeman) and Dave (Tony Way) finally brought to life.

However the overused slang, constant references to marijuana and Ali's ever-present misguided notion that he is actually cool just seem tired and dated in 2002.

Perhaps if the film had been released two years ago when the character was still fresh it might not be so noticeable.

The sparsely attended screening I went to perhaps indicates that the general viewing public have also had enough of the character as well.


Daniel Garrett

Ali G Indahouse is currently showing at:

Swindon Cineworld
Greenbridge Retail And Leisure Park
Tel. 01793 420710

Times: 12.15 2.15 4.15 6.15 7.15 8.15 9.15 10.15 11.15 (Fri/Sat) 12.15 (Fri/Sat)

UGC Cinema Shaw Ridge,
Whitehall Way
Tel. 0870 155 5134

Times: Fri/Sat 11.45 2.00 4.25 6.50 9.20; Sun-Thu 1.40 4.10 6.30 8.50

Salisbury Odeon
15 New Canal
Tel. 0870 505 0007

Times: 1.40 4.15 6.40 8.50

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