“Four Lions” is a British comedy revolving around a group of inept jihadists.
Here’s an example.
When wanna be terrorist Waj travels to Pakistan in order “train” at a terrorist training camp, he gets engaged in a heated argument over which direction to pray towards, vehemently insisting he knows the direction to face. The truth is, hailing from Britain, he’s accustomed to facing east in order to pray towards Mecca. He misses the fact that, now that he’s in Pakistan, Mecca is to the West.
As dimwitted as that is, it may actually be his least moronic moment in the movie.
I’m the Mujahideen and I’m making a scene
Now you’s gonna feel what the boom-boom means
It’s like Tupac said
“When I die, I’m not dead”
We are the martyrs
You’re just smashed tomatoes
You certainly wouldn’t associate terrorism with comedy. Yet “Four Lions”, directed by Chris Morris, is completely hysterical. The group of five would be terrorists it focuses on are each dumber than the next. They say and do dumb things, they’re hypocritical, they’re Punks. Moron level stupid. They are utterly inept. I mean, these men make the Three Stooges look competent by comparison.
One’s plan is to blow up a mosque.
At one point, another suggests blowing up the Internet. And he’s serious.
The movie has a free form feel to it, like a Christopher Guest movie if he visited the subject of British, moronic wanna be terrorists. The cast – Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsay, Adeel Akhtar, and Arsher Ali, are each excellent. They curse as vigorously as they do in “In the Loop”. The dialogue is ridiculous… The exchanges are fantastic.
Barry: I am the Invisible Jihadi! They seek him here, they seek him there, but here’s not there, he’s blowing up your slag sister!
Omar: Invisible? Right. Like the time you got on the local news for baking a Twin Towers cake and leaving it at the synagogue on 9/11?
Barry: That is part of the plan! Hide in plain sight, you mug!
There’s not too much plot in actuality. Four morons try to blow something up before they blow themselves up. It climaxes in a sequence that half silly and half serious that I don’t want to spoil by describing, but it’s great. It’s funny and it’s frightening at the same time. There’s messages to be drawn about the futility of terrorism, the ridiculousness of perpetrating violence for the sake of dogma, and the impotent, ineffectual way that terrorism is being combatted. Few sides are left unscathed.
There’s enough mockery to go around for all.
A- This movie sends up terrorism in the same way “Blazing Saddles” sends up racism. By showing the perpetrators to be absolute morons.