Four Lions movie review: Back in 2001, Chris Morris briefly became Public Enemy No1 lampooning the media's coverage of that year's paedophilia firestorm. Clearly unfazed, he now turns his attention to a brigade of British suicide bombers.
Set in an unnamed city, Four Lions sees Omar (Riz Ahmed) heading a team of clueless jihadists who plan to strike a blow for Muslims. It doesn't sound very funny, does it, especially with the horrors of 7/7 still fresh in our minds? And the film's attempts to not just humanise but to make us like the bombers undermines the comedy. Talking of British lions, One Night In Turin traces the England football squad's 1990 World Cup journey. Narrated by Gary Oldman, it provides an entertaining look at how manager Bobby Robson became a national hero and Gazza's tears made him a celebrity. Crucially, though, it fails to tell us anything we didn't already know.
Lastly, there's Sus, a riveting little drama set during election night in 1979 in which Ralph Brown and Rafe Spall are a pair of racist cops quizzing a black murder suspect (Clint Dyer). Set entirely in an interrogation room, it's sharply written, beautifully acted and a devastating critique of institutional racism.Synopsis: Chris Morris' Four Lions is a whip-smart, laugh-out-loud comedy that illuminates the war on terror through satire and farce. Four Lions proves that while terrorism may be about ideology, it's also about idiots. In a British city, four men have a secret plan. Omar (Riz Ahmed) is disillusioned about the treatment of muslims around the world and is determined to become a soldier. This is the most exciting idea Waj (Kayvan Novak) has ever heard. Better still it's a no brainer because Omar does his thinking for him. Opposed to Omar and everyone else on earth is the white islamic convert Barry (Nigel Lindsay). He'd realize he joined the cell to channel his nihilism - if he had half the self knowledge of a duck. Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) is the odd man out. He can make a bomb – but he can't blow himself up just now coz his sick dad has started eating newspaper. Instead he's training crows to fly bombs through windows. This is what Omar has to deal with. They must strike a decisive blow on their own turf but can any of them strike a match without punching himself in the face? Four Lions plunges us beyond seeing these young men as unfathomably alien. It undermines the folly of just wishing them away or, even worse, alienating the entire culture from which they emerge. The film is neither pro nor anti religious. The jokes fly out of the characters' conflicts, excesses and mistakes. Crackling with wit and tension, Four Lions is the essential response to our failure to engage with reality and a high toast to the idea that laughter is better than killing.
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