Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 157 minutes
Ali G addicts have been fretting over the British comedian's spiraling popularity. As word of his outrageous celebrity interviews spreads--the deer-in-the-headlights gaze of his victims as they wrestle with incredulity over his audacious stupidity is itself always worth the price of admission--his pool of potential victims naturally diminishes. Not to worry: Ali G as a character has enough flexibility to make the leap to full-length film. The transition is far from perfect: few moments in Ali G Indahouse can match the unforced hilarity of Da Ali G Show. The film's biggest drawback, in fact, is the absence of the real-life personalities we know from the interview format; it's the friction between them and comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen's imposter shtick that generates so many howlers. Ali G Indahouse, in contrast, hangs on a silly plot. The setup of fictional characters interacting with Ali G simply can't have the same payoff. Said plot is nothing more than a vehicle to subject the hip-hop poseur to a variety of ridiculous situations. He finds himself the unexpected champion in a parliamentary election and has to deal with the devious plotting of the Machiavellian Chancellor of the Exchequer (played by Charles Dance, who undergoes all manner of extreme humiliation). The result is a mix of Dumb and Dumber and Leslie Nielsen-esque pratfalls, with a hint of the Peter Sellers character in Being There. A good deal of the intended irony falls flat, and the litany of dated jokes calculated to offend all over the spectrum gets tiresome: from raunchy malapropisms to Ali G's recurrent obsession with being perceived as gay. But Baron Cohen's genius for getting under the skin of his creation remains undiluted. One aspect of special interest to Ali G fans is the light Ali G Indahouse throws on topics that are always behind the scenes in the Ali G Show context. We actually see Ali's Nana and his crib in suburban Staines, and "me Julie" (Kellie Bright) becomes a focal point as the story unwinds. Genial Borat makes an appearance (and gets dissed by Ali); we even learn the secret origin of Ali G's name (an abbreviation of Alistair Graham). It all might add up to a guilty pleasure, but hey--check yaself before ya wreck yaself. --Tom May
I ain't draft dodging. I ain't burning no flag. I ain't running to Canada. I'm staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I've been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain't going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I'll die right here, right now, fightin' you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won't even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won't even stand up for my right here at home.
But if I ever was to get in the ring with Joe, here's what you might see. Ali comes out to meet Frazier, but Frazier starts to retreat. If Joe back up an inch farther, he'll wind up in a ringside seat. Ali swings with his left. Ali swings with his right. Just look at the kid carry the fight. Frazier keeps backin', but there's not enough room. It's only a matter of time before Ali lowers the boom. Ali swings with his right. What a beautiful swing. But the punch lifts Frazier clean out of the ring. Frazier still rising, and the referee wears a frown 'cause he can't start countin' till Frazier comes down. Frazier's disappeared from view. The crowd is getting frantic. But our radar stations done picked him up. He's somewheres over the Atlantic. Now, who would've thought, when they came to the fight, they was gonna witness the launching of a black satellite? But don't wait for that fight. It ain't never gonna happen. The onliest thing you can do is wonder and imagine.