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Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) becomes an unwitting pawn as a Liberal candidate in a by-election that figures in a powerplay by the Deputy Prime Minister (Charles Dance) who hopes to topple the PM (Michael Gambon). But Ali G’s ‘make it real’ catchcry becomes the rally cry of the nation and the dastardly political plan goes wobbly. But Ali G has his own set of troubles with his girl, Julie (Kellie Bright).

Review by Louise Keller:
A new version of Austin Powers, Dame Edna and Norman Gunston, Ali G is a colourful character swarming with bad taste, bad language and a very bad wardrobe. Essentially the film is 88 minutes of a nonsensical comedy routine that kind of manages to sustain – more or less – depending on your expectations and whether or not this tall, lanky oddball in varying shades of multicolour track suits, heavy chains and tinted space goggles appeals to you. 

Frankly, it’s pretty stupid. I had more fun with Ben Stiller’s Zoolander, which I thought was rather clever. But then, Stiller’s humour was more off-the-wall, than the schoolboy toilet humour of oversize penises and masturbation. There again, there is no doubt that Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Ali G, whose meteoric rocket ride to notoriety in Pommie-land, will offer novelty bad-taste value to the young audience at which it is targeted. 

We are talking about a character that thinks that a by-election is something to do with sexuality, and that laying a brick is taking a dump. Some of the concepts are funny – I was rather tickled by the scene when Ali G (protesting on a hunger strike) is chained to the fence that a blind man is polishing. Of course when Ali’s pants get pulled down, and the blind man continues his polishing and stroking… well, you get the drift. It was actually the anticipation that made me laugh. While it may be predictable humour, the notion of putting Ali G into parliament with the stuffy pollies works quite well, although I must admit I had difficulty at times in understanding some of the dialogue and the lingo. Is that ENGLISH they are speaking? 

No topic seems to be forbidden – from rejecting refugees if they are not good sorts, to enjoying the spoils of police confiscated porn goods and drugs. Yep, there’s plenty to offend everyone. I quite enjoyed the nonsense of Ali G, although the novelty started to wear a little thin by the end. Hang around for the credits – you may be bullied into laughing, if you haven’t already.

Although there are no special features on this rental version of the DVD, there are a couple of little extra touches in the Ali G spirit. These are short attention grabbing scenes, like when you select the Scene Selecta, instead of going straight to the various chapters, we get a glimpse under the sheets from Ali G’s perspective, as the dog licks his lips through Ali G’s spread legs. The other thing that’s rather interesting, is that on insertion, the DVD will begin to play without selecting the play button after about 60 seconds. You’ll see a similarly conceived scene when you select the Subtitles, although it is rather silly to have a section for Subtitles, when English is the only one offered. The film is presented in widescreen, but the colour saturation isn’t as true as it should be. 

Published November 28, 2002

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CAST: Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Gambon, Charles Dance, Kellie Bright, Martin Freeman, Rhona Mitra, Barbara New

DIRECTOR: Mark Mylod

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes




DVD RELEASE: November 27, 2002 (rental)

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