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Ali G Indahouse (2002)

Ali G in da House

Cleaning da filth from da PM’s hood

Directed by:

Mark Mylod

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 88 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom, Germany

It was only really in his humble ’11 O’Clock Show’ beginnings that Ali G really displayed true comic genius, sucking in unsuspecting world luminaries with his thick-as-a-post persona, whilst all the time slyly going for the jugular. By the time Sacha Baron Cohen’s street-talking invention had his own show, his studio guests were generally in on the joke and the spark had gone.

This transition to the big screen was always going to be an obvious next step for a character with such a whopping cult following (particularly, as the ultimate irony, amongst the very people he originally seemed to be satirising). And you can’t really blame Cohen and co-writer Dan Mazer for grabbing this considerable cash-in opportunity while it was still hot. But, what ‘Ali G Indahouse’ represents more than anything is the final fizzling out of one of the UK’s most memorable comedy creations.

A bit like Tom Green’s equivalent cinematic vehicle ‘Freddy Got Fingered’, Ali G’s first movie outing is starved of the spontaneous reactions of interviewees which often made his TV material work so well. In its place is a plot, only it’s not a very good one. It focuses loosely around G’s unlikely scaling of the political ladder, egged on by scheming Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Dance, and blindly supported by Michael Gambon as a less-than-inspiring PM. Kellie Bright lends a hand as “me Julie”, Rhona Mitra does her eye candy bit, and the excellent Martin ‘The Office’ Freeman pops up as one of our hero’s hapless homies.

Each scene is really only an excuse for packing the screen with bouncing booty and puerile willy gags. The parts that work are laugh-out-loud hilarious, but the bulk of it is repetitive and a sorry shadow of the sort of humour this character used to provide. Somewhere along the line, the original satire of Ali G has been lost and all he’s got left to parody is himself. But hey, it was a good run while it lasted, Aiii?

It's Got: Charles Dance dressed up like Bet Lynch. Not a pretty sight.

It Needs: To leave it there and move on – Ali G’s gone as far as he can.

DVD Extras Audio commentary with Ali G and Ricky C (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen and Martin Freeman), deleted scenes and out-takes, an extremely funny video diary (which is, in fact, better than the film itself), ‘Talkin Da Talk’ featurette, Ali’s gallery and some trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Summary

You’ll laugh here and there, but this is far from Ali G at his best. Pick up some of his early TV stuff if you can, but this is a film best left on the shelf.

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