Certificate: 15

Running Time: 83 mins

Star Rating: 2/5

WHEN he's on sparkling form, Sacha Baron Cohen cuts to the bone with surgical precision in the guise of his faux naive alter egos. Streetwise voice of "da yoof" Ali G, Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev and flamboyant Austrian fashion reporter Bruno Gehard were comic creations par excellence.

Alas, global recognition means Cohen can no longer pull off that kind of devilish hoodwinkery and he scrapes the bottom of a very deep and grubby barrel in Grimsby, a wilfully offensive crime caper in the mould of James Bond.

Cohen plays Nobby Butcher, a football hooligan with monstrous sideburns, who lives in Grimsby with his sex-crazed girlfriend Lindsey (Rebel Wilson) and 11 obscenity-spewing children, whose names include Skeletor and Django Unchained.

For 28 years, Nobby has been separated from his younger brother Sebastian (Mark Strong), unaware that his sibling has become a debonair secret agent with the Tiger Tail Unit of MI6. Then Sebastian is framed for murder and rival agent Chilcott (Sam Hazeldine) is dispatched to terminate the rogue asset as the brothers lie low in the eponymous northern seaport with Nobby's beer-swilling pals (John Thomson, Ricky Tomlinson, Johnny Vegas).

Grimsby is lewd, crude and poorly structured, ricocheting between frenetic action sequences and heart-tugging flashbacks to Nobby and Sebastian's childhood.