Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Gambon, Charles Dance
The head of the West Staines Massive
enters politics to save the local leisure centre.
From the far end of 2002 it seems like
Ali G is about a year past his sell-by date. Even those people who hadn't
already been put off by the character's unashamedly homophobic and sexist
brand of humour must feel like he's beginning to outstay his welcome.
G was at his best exposing the pomposity of politicians and
self-proclaimed experts, but since then the character has devolved
somewhat, and his horizons have broadened significantly, to the point
where he's able to carry a feature-film. It's hard to see where the
character might go now, and it wouldn't be at all surprising if Ali was
retired, and Baron Cohen went in search of new challenges. The film
demonstrates disappointing few sparks of Baron Cohen's genius, instead it
relies on a blend of mildly amusing knob gags and meek misogyny.
The film's best laughs come from seeing
distinguished character actors Michael Gambon and Charles Dance struggling
to cope with Ali and his ideas for popularising their government. Both
gamely tackle each indignity that the script throws at them. There are a
few other nice cameo appearances, including Richard Madeley, who makes up
for his hugely embarrassing Ali G impersonation with a funny one-liner,
and Naomi Campbell (who doubles her screen time in one of the deleted
scenes on the disc).
film is presented very slightly windowboxed, at 1.85:1 ratio, with
anamorphic enhancement. The cinematography isn't particularly bold or
inventive, but every scene is well-lit, and nicely transferred to disc.
There's some noticeable edge-enhancement, and the contrast range isn't
always solid, but neither are bad enough to be distracting. The average
bitrate is 7.48Mbps. The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio (at 384kbps) allows the
film's pumpin' UK garage and rap soundtrack (supported by an original score
by Adam F) to predominate whenever it needs to, but otherwise the mix is
The film is supported by a good bunch of
"bone-us" materials, including an in-character commentary track,
featuring Ali and his best mate Ricky C (The Office's Martin
Freeman). The track gets of to a hesitant start, as if the two actors were
only just realising how difficult it would be to explain how they, as the
two characters, would be commenting on being in the film they're
discussing. Before long, though, they get into the swing of things, and
are even able to discuss each other's acting. You won't learn much more
than which of the supporting actresses (including Hollow Man's
Rhona Mitri) was the most "fit", but it's almost as amusing as
the film itself.
disc also contains about eighteen minutes of "scenes not in it, innit"
(a significant chunk, since the film is only about seventy-five minutes
long, not including the end credits). Most of them feature plot exposition
that wasn't needed, or unnecessary tangents from the central plot of the
film. None are particularly funny, but one or two would have pushed the
film's bad taste quotient a little further. This section also includes
four minutes of outtakes and goofs. Ali also presents Me Video Diary
(12m) - also in character - which includes footage from the film's opening
sequence, which was shot in L.A. Talkin' The Talk is a short
sequence of scenes translating some of Ali's patois into English. There's
also an animated photo' gallery, and three trailers, including one that
spoofs Ali (Michael Mann's boxing biopic), that features