Ali G Indahouse
PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
Ali G is the leader of Da West Staines Massiv, a fictional gang composed of a group of wannabe gangsters from Staines (a suburban town in north Surrey, to the west of London); their chief rivals are Da East Staines Massiv. Ali and Da West Staines Massiv are heartbroken to learn that their beloved local leisure centre (where they like to chill out and also where Ali teaches his “Keep it Real” classes) will be demolished by the local council. Ali and his friends decide to protest this injustice. After he goes on a hunger strike and is spotted chained to some railings by the nefarious Chancellor of the Exchequer/Deputy Prime Minister David Carlton (Charles Dance), he is drawn into a world of seedy political intrigue, as the Deputy Prime Minister tries to use Ali as a tool to destroy the Prime Minister’s credibility. Ali is put forward as a candidate to be the next MP for Staines in a crucial by-election and manages to alienate most who cross his path, including feminists and the elderly. During a debate with his rival candidate, Ali tries to insult his rival by claiming that he “sucked off a horse”. Unknown to Ali and the public, it turns out that the rival did indeed do such a thing, and trying to explain it away, he claims when he was out hunting with a friend he slipped, and his mouth landed on a horse’s penis, which due to the mating season was erect. Ali then wins.
Although originally seeming out of his depth as a Member of Parliament, Ali’s bizarre behaviour and solutions seem to actually work. He visits a Customs checkpoint in Dover, as a delegate compiling a report (though all he does is steal confiscated pornography and drugs). Through ideas such as making more “relatable” education and selectively ensuring the immigration of attractive (or “fit”) women into the UK, Ali becomes incredibly popular, meeting the Prime Minister’s intentions and bringing his percentage lead in the polls up twenty two percent. With this the Prime Minister offers to save Ali’s leisure centre. First though, Ali accompanies the Prime Minister to a United Nations peace conference to avert war between the central African states of Chad and Burkina Faso. The USA and Russia back opposite countries and both threaten nuclear attacks. It gets to the point where World War III is almost declared when Ali sneaks into the catering area and puts an entire bag of marijuana, which he had stolen from Customs earlier, into the delegates’ tea and orders that they be served it right away. He throws the empty bag into a nearby rubbish bin. A side-effect is that the two opposing African presidents become allies (in fact they begin to kiss lovingly). The Prime Minister says that Ali has saved the world. However, Carlton’s secretary Kate Hedges figures out what Ali has done and retrieves the empty marijuana bag (which has “Ali’s stash. DO NOT NICK” written on the back), which she mails to the press. Upon his return to the UK, Ali is forced to leave parliament.
Before the Leisure Centre can be saved, a video emerges of Ali and his girlfriend having sex in the Prime Minister’s bedroom at Chequers. As Ali was wearing items of the Prime Minister’s clothing at the time, the media believe the video details the Prime Minister with a prostitute, forcing his resignation. This results in Deputy Prime Minister David Carlton being made Prime Minister. Carlton, who despises Ali, orders the destruction of the aforementioned leisure centre. He has also bought all available real estate in Staines in the knowledge that the town is to be destroyed to make way for a new terminal for Heathrow Airport, which will make him super wealthy. After turning down an offer to have sex with Kate Hedges, in exchange for “keeping his mouth shut” about the videotape, Ali and the West Staines Massiv must race against time to find the master copy of the CCTV tape proving the former Prime Minister’s innocence, extending the olive branch to all the gangs all over Staines and neighbouring Berkshire (even to the East Staines Massiv) to help them break into the vaults and retrieve the said tape. They do this successfully and manage to reinstate the original Prime Minister, save the Leisure Centre, and all live happily ever after when Ali is posted as the British ambassador to Jamaica. Staines is saved from destruction, with the reinstated Prime Minister declaring that Slough is to be destroyed instead.
I toyed around with the idea of going to see The Dictator this past weekend, but opted to save my money and see Men in Black III this coming weekend. Hopefully, I won’t regret that decision. In the meantime, a friend of mine recommended I watch The Ali G Show, as it showcases Sacha Boren Cohen at his finest. I couldn’t find it on-line, though Netflix does have it, just not streaming, and I’m just not into renting entire series from them. As a consolation, for lack of a better term, I did find Ali G Indahouse. The question is, should I have just watched the show instead?
So, what worked?
Comedy, as advertised. Some people may find this flick offensive, but I actually thought it was pretty funny. Of course, if you’ve ever seen any of Cohen’s films, then you know this is how he works.
Committment. One thing that can be said about this flick is that it commits to the gag of Ali G “wannabe gangsta” persona, even when he becomes part of the political landscape. Other films would have probably made him change to fit the “norm”. I think the non-change is what made this film so enjoyable. It is such a shame that we don’t have anyone like that in today’s politics.
What you wouldn’t expect. Character actors such as Michael Gambon and Martin Freeman star alongside Cohen and in roles that are a bit out of their comfort zone, well maybe not.
What didn’t I like?
Hot, but wasted. Kate Beckinsale’s look-alike, Rhona Mitra, plays a fairly major role as some kind of secretary/assistant, but for some reason, they don’t really use her to full potential (although getting her to nearly strip down was nice).
Forgotten plot device. It takes about 30 minutes for this film to finally get to the plot, which I can somewhat live with. However, there is this secondary plot involving the youth center that is merely touched on and used more as a blackmail device than anything else. I don’t know, for me, it felt as if they could have done something more with it, especially at the end.
Large members. There are a few scenes where we see Ali G’s large member. Maybe it is just me, but I just don’t think there was a reason to show this, especially more than once!
Ali G Indahouse is not one of those films that one will be watching over and over again, but it is one of those flicks that is entertaining every now and then. To quote a friend of mine, this is “a good time…if you’re drunk”. I don’t highly recommend it, but I won’t lose any respect for you if you decide to give it a shot. Don;t forget to look for a certain cameo about halfway through. I won’t say who it is, but when you see him, you’ll know.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars