British goofball becomes a political pawn
If you don't know who Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) is, you'd be best served checking out his show, either on HBO or on DVD, before diving into this movie. On his own series, the hip-hop white guy from Britain interviews various important people and makes them question their own sanity with his inane and insane lines of questioning. Sadly, they tossed that aspect of Ali G when they made Indahouse. Instead, this movie explores his own special reality under the pretense of a political parody. That may sound like the stuff of an independent film, but make no mistake: this is more Dude, Where's My Car than Election.
As Ali G deals with the junior-varsity turf wars that dominate his native middle-class Staines, he finds out that the government is about to demolish his beloved community center, where he teaches kids how to "keep it real." In protesting the move, he comes to the attention of an evil chancellor (Charles Dance) who uses him in a plot to overthrow the Prime Minister (Michael Gambon, Harry Potter.) Instead, he helps the PM "keep it real," making the current government more popular than ever. The chancellor realizes he has created a monster, and must now slay him. There are some farsical attempts to learn "lessons" and make a dramatic movie, but the plot is basically as described.
Along the way from the gang-film parody opening titles to the final credits, the jokes come fast and furious, often at Ali G's expense. Ali G is a moron and a poseur; in no way a true gangbanger. The movie won't pass up a chance to make fun of his intelligence or facade, or focus on his "beast" (read: his manhood.) Among the other targets in this film's crosshairs are homosexuality, rich people, the intelligent, women, relationships, and plenty of other subjects. When not making fun of someone or something, gross-out jokes become the official language, including a bout of bestiality and the stripping of the Queen of England. There's very little that's sacred in Ali G's world.
There's not much of a narrative flow at work, as scenes transition as needed, with flashbacks and fantasies popping up at any time. Director Mark Mylod, a veteran of British TV, gives the film a definite cartoon feel, or a candy-colored culture clash, as Ali G's brightly-hued costumes draw the eye in every scene he's in. This isn't an award-winning flick in any way, but the fun wordplay and ridiculous situations will make all but the most stone-faced person smile at least a few times. Plus, for the true Ali G fans, Borat from the TV show makes an appearance. There truly is something for everyone in this movie.
Deleted scenes and outtakes come next, in one letterboxed, 22-minute bunch, each proceeded by a title card. The whole thing is introduced by Ali G, in his own unique way. As is usually the case, the deleted scenes belonged on the cutting room floor, while the outtakes are rather funny. A video diary, nearly 12-minutes long, follows Ali G around during production, with on-screen narration by the man himself. This is closer to his show, as he talks to plenty of people involved with the movie. There's also a cute, short featurette explaining what Ali G's saying at various points in the film, once again with an Ali G intro. A photo gallery is also included, as well as trailers for the Ali G movie, Ali and Tupac.
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