Four Lions
Don’t hire these guys for your kids’ birthday party. They’re idiots.


Theatrical Release Date: 12/03/2010
Director: Chris Morris
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsay, Adeel Akhtar, Preeya Kalidas, Craig Parkinson


Trailer:

Watch where you aim that thing!

Terrorists are hilarious. Well, they’re not actually but in director/co-writer Chris Morris’ new film, “Four Lions”, the four men planning to become suicide bombers in London are.

Obviously, this subject material is sure to offend some people. The current state of affairs is nothing to laugh at. However, Morris and his crew have found a way to turn the issue on its head. This isn’t a commentary on Islamic fanaticism, this isn’t an effort to humanize terrorists, and this isn’t meant to downplay any of the heinous acts of recent history.

No, “Four Lions” is an absurdly funny look at a group of bumbling wannabe terrorists and lands itself in some highly esteemed comedic company; as I think it warrants a place next to “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Producers” in the farce genre.

These four idiots probably couldn’t find their way out of a hedge maze but they know the rudimentary process for assembling a bomb and hatch a plan to strike at the establishment and earn their way to the “top floor”. Of their many dumb ideas, we see them strap explosives to a crow, attempt to jump a wall while holding unstable chemical compounds and one of them even postulates that they should use their explosives to blow up the Internet. Clearly, we’re not dealing with the higher echelon of MENSA.

The cast all deliver tremendously funny performances, as they and Morris realize that this isn’t about mugging for the camera. They play it all straight and let the script do the work. To that end, Morris, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain have managed to craft an amazingly clever script.

There’s a very fine line that they have to toe here, as the sensitivity to the material can be very polarizing. But instead of trying to be a satirical look at the issue, where commentary is laid underneath the comedy, this is true farce. This is a story of four really dumb people who just want to martyr themselves, and really dumb cops who don’t know the difference between a wookie and a bear, and really dumb people who believe others when they say they work for MI-5. This is truly about some very, very, very dumb people … and I loved it.

Obviously, one must know they can separate the real world from this fictional story before going into it. However, if you’re a fan of the genre and can laugh at morons botching some very simple plans, then I highly recommend “Four Lions” and give it a 4 out of 5. I don’t normally laugh out loud while watching a DVD screener by myself but this one got to me. It’s one of the best screenplays of 2010 and shouldn’t be dismissed out of fear that this is somehow making light of terrorist acts. If that’s what you come away with, then you’ve missed the point entirely.

4 out of 5