Director Chris Morris
Starring Kayvan Novak, Riz Ahmed, Nigel Lindsay
Can someone go too far in the name of comedy? Is there a line or is the line blurred these days. When I heard that Chris Morris (a king of satire) was directing his feature debut film Four Lions, about a group of idiotic terrorists I was ecstatic. Morris’ previously has come from TV work with shows such The Day Today and Brass Eye which was about work news at the time before being cancelled because of it controversy. So with his previous work I thought that Four Lion’s would be a laugh out loud romp.
However I was surly disappointed but before you think that I disliked Four Lions I want to make it clear I didn’t. In fact I enjoyed it for all the wrong reasons. The clever satirical humour that surprised me because these days with comedy being a quick giggle it was hard to appreciate a comedy with substance.
The film centres on a terrorist group living in a small town north of England who dreams about plotting a martyr on civilians in an attempt to get into there Heaven. The cell’s leader Omar explains to his moronic best friend Waj as it being likes “jumping the que on Alton Towers” (now you can see where the humour is coming form). Accompanying them is Faisal who spends time blowing up crows and covering his beard in an attempt to appear as a woman and Barry a touchy but somewhat psychotic converted-Islamic who explains his car breaking down because “It’s the parts! They’re Jewish!” in a feeble attempt to prove he is a devoted Islamic. It is only Omar who appears to be the most capable but as they get closer and closer to their final plot we begin to see how becoming a terrorist isn’t as easy as people might think.
The characters stupidity along with Omar’s occasional blunders does become almost cartoonish as if they have dropped out of a modern Looney Toons.
Even though I enjoyed it I constantly felt as if it was missing something. The film suffered the same thing that Night Mare on Elm Street did with how there wasn’t any protagonist to relate to. Omar is the main protagonist but it’s hard to sympathise and relate to someone who plots to murder British civilians for him religion. Also I felt Morris had a number of plot holes, like for example I believe he should have included a scene with Omar’s wife and son not wanting him to follow through with the plan because they seem to be fin with the idea of him killing himself.
If you go expecting a feel good comedy you might be disappointed but the clever satirical and at times cartoonish humour does entertain but with few laughs and for the wrong reasons.
Anticipation - 3
Enjoyment - 2
Enjoyment - 2
In Retrospect – 2