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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 16:21 GMT
Ali G In Da House: Press views
Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G
Ali G fills the big screen with his larger than life personality
The British press review Ali G In Da House.

The Times

It's fun, but I can't help feeling that Cohen pays a terrible price for his HP sauce. He flaps from sketch to sketch like a slapstick clown. Furthermore, despite going to the outer limits of sexual experimentation, the MP for Staines is as offensive as the Muppets. Even when he manages to rip the Queen's dress off by accident, to discover that she shaves her pubic hair ("Respect," says an awed Ali), he does it with the tactless impunity of Mr Blobby.

The Independent

Another director with more experience might have gone for more dazzling visuals to distract us from the lumpen script (despite the presence of ace cinematographers Seamus McGarvey and Ashley Rowe, the film looks as rootless as a pop video and as dreary as an ad for the Green Cross Code). Better still, a more assertive director might have put his foot down and just drafted other writers in. Mylod, a mate of Cohen and Mazer, is obviously just too in awe. Therein lies the problem. Respect: it'll be the death of Ali G.

The Guardian

A taste for Sacha Baron Cohen's comic persona, Ali G, the sad lad from Staines who dresses and speaks like a black gangsta, is easily acquired and easily lost. His first appearances had a certain novelty and his encounters with innocent celebrity interviewees were often hilarious. But the joke has worn thin and his feature debut, Ali G Indahouse, like most big screen spin-offs from British TV shows, is a crude, shoddy affair.

The Daily Telegraph

This narrative offers rich opportunities for political satire, all of them wasted, except for the oblique swipe at New Labour's desperate aspirations to youthfulness and cool. Instead, the script is packed with jokes of wearying crudeness about sex and bodily functions; I have long thought myself a republican, but even I winced at a couple of tasteless gags directed at a lookalike of the Queen.

London Evening Standard

Ali G Indahouse successfully transfers Sacha Baron Cohen from the small screen where he first honed his dyslexic lexicon and gaudily garbed creation. No one stands a chance beside him. He's like a huge exclamation mark, his body never at rest, his lips never lost for words. Though everyone works hard - some a mite too hard - Ali G is the induction coil in the set-up, transmitting such snap, crackle and hip-hop energy that director Mark Mylod almost has to run after him to keep control.

See also:

20 Mar 02 | Reviews
Ali G keeps it real
22 Mar 02 | Reviews
Ali G In Da House: Your views
20 Mar 02 | Film
Ali G keeps it royal
18 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Radio 1 apologises for Ali G outburst
16 May 01 | TV and Radio
Ali G takes home spare Bafta
15 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Complaints over Ali G catchphrase
08 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Ali G 'in da movies'
25 Mar 02 | Talking Point
Is Ali G racist?
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