DVD REVIEW

Ali G Indahouse: The Movie

Ali G Indahouse: The Movie
I absolutely love “Da Ali G Show”. It’s so good; I’ve come pretty close to biting the bullet and paying for HBO just so I can see it on a regular basis. It’s a twisted kind of funny, that some people get… and others don’t. Probably too busy being offended by songs about Jews being thrown down wells. Well Ali G’s been popular over in Great Britain for quite awhile now; in fact he’s even made a movie. That movie has now drifted over to America on DVD, and proves absolutely that Ali G is only funny in very very small doses.

The Movie: star rating

Ali G Indahouse: The Movie avoids the sort of pseudo-premise we’re used to for the show and instead sticks him in a straight up movie, of the type you might expect from Rowan Atkinson. It also abandons Sacha Baron Cohen’s other characters, most notably the much funnier than Ali G foreigner named Borat, in favor of following the wacky hijinks of Ali himself. The movie is basically another wigger story, and probably resembles the cringe-worthy Jamie Kennedy movie, Malibu’s Most Wanted. I say probably, because while I did have the misfortune to sit through the Ali G movie, I was wise enough to stay far far away from that turd. Ali G Indahouse: The Movie is a formulaic gangster parody, a lame ass spoof, and a colossal waste of Sacha Baron Cohen’s otherwise fairly serviceable comedic talents.

The story is cliché in every sense of the word, with Ali getting snatched up by a British political party and used as a figurehead. They’re rooting for him to fail, because somehow that’ll make an evil political fiend more powerful, though the actual whereas and whys of this strategy are never exactly clear. Ali agrees, because he wishes to save a local community center where he teaches young boy scouts about surviving in “the streets”.

This gives Ali ample opportunity to engage in his usual shtick, sans everything that made it funny in the first place. That everything is how uncomfortable the character makes real people who just don’t get it. Since he’s playing off actors here, the magic is gone and so is the humor. In its place is crude, raunchy, and mostly pointless behavior that has now caused me to absolutely hate the character and will also likely keep me from ever watching the HBO show again. It’s spoiled it for me and I now feel like a fool for ever thinking Ali G was funny.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. To be fair, I did laugh a time or two the first time I saw it. However I’d just bought a new bottle of Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay Coconut Rum (the best, try it!) and celebrated by drinking half of it, mixed with a touch of Diet Pepsi. I later watched the movie again, to make sure that my laughter hadn’t been due to intoxication… and discovered that it in fact was. Simply put, Ali G Indahouse: The Movie is a little funny if you’re flat out drunk. If you’re sober, it is not.

The Disc: dvd

Very little effort has been put into the DVD release for Ali G Indahouse: The Movie, and it shows. The packaging is extremely annoying and rather than snapping open like a good little DVD case, it has two hard to spot latches on the outside of it. I spent a good two minutes trying to pry the case open and wondering why it wouldn’t, and had nearly torn it to shreds when I discovered the well disguised and mostly pointless latches on the side. The cover features Ali with some bitches, which I hate since he looks much funnier against a black background all by himself, as in the intro to his HBO show. Inside the case, once finally opened, is an advertisement for something called “Drunken Jackasses the Quest” which to me seems awfully appropriate.

A commentary track featuring Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Ali G (we know he is in character because the first words uttered on the track are “this is me as Ali”… duh) and Martin Freeman as his wigger character, whatshisname, has been included in order to torture you. This track in large part consists of incomprehensible chatter, which has a tendency to blend into the background noise of the movie at best, and overwhelms and tortures your brain at its worst. It’s meaningless, nonsensical prattle in which Ali tries desperately to be funny and Martin Freeman (who was great on the Office and will hopefully also be great in the Hitchchiker movie) sort of bumbles along with him. I hold it against you dear reader that I was forced to listen to it. You owe me an apology.

The centerpiece of Universal’s Indahouse DVD release is a passel of deleted scenes. Click a button and you get several minutes of them. Included are even a few outtakes in the mix. I’m glad they included these, but did not enjoy them. If you loved the movie, then you may. So let’s throw these deleted scenes in the plus column.

The rest of the disc features is basic, useless, standard fare. Trailers, photo galleries, a silly feature that teaches you to talk like Ali G. Whatever. Better than an empty disc I suppose. The only real reason to purchase Ali G Indahouse: The Movie is if you’ve already seen the movie and for some strange reason love it. The special features aren’t going to sell you on it. The movie looks decent on the disc, the sound is crips and if you like it that’s all that matters. But please, don’t make my mistake. Being a fan of the Ali G HBO does not guarantee you’ll want to see this. In fact, if you want to keep on liking the HBO show, you’d be well advised to avoid Indahouse: The Movie.

Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler

Release Details
Length: 88 min
Rated: R
Distributor: Universal
Release Date:  2004-11-08
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Gambon, Martin Freeman, Charles Dance, Kellie Bright
Directed by: Mark Mylod
Produced by: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, William Green, Dan Mazer
Written by: Sacha Baron Cohen
Visit the Ali G Indahouse: The Movie Official Website
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