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Four Lions: Review

Posted on 12 November 2010 by TH3 No08

The trailer for the upcoming Drafthouse Films release Four Lions is misleading you. The marketing team wants you to believe that this movie is some kid of mockumentary, laugh a minute joke fest making fun of an incompetent group of wannabe British jihadist who just can’t seem to get out of their own way. They are wrong. It’s so much more than that.

Don’t get me wrong, this movie is very funny. At times it’s ridiculously funny to the point I was laughing so hard I missed the followup jokes to the original jokes but I believe this movie actually goes much further than that. I had to actually watch this movie a couple of times to really get what director Chris Morris was trying to do here and when I did it all kind of fell into place for me. Four Lions is not just a movie about a bumbling group of inept terrorist. It’s a movie about four friends with relationships and families who just happen to be a bumbling group of inept terrorists.

It’s unfortunate that the four main characters sense of being has been so affected by what they see as a worldwide affront to their religion that they have decided that death and killing in the name of their god is the only answer. The truly awful part is that without those bomb vests and that terrible ideology, those guys are not much different than the group of guys that you or I hang out with on a daily basis. You know the types, the leader, the follower, the kinda dumb guy who’s annoying at times but when the chips are down you know he’ll be there for you. That’s what makes watching parts of this movie very sad at times. You know the ultimate end for these characters but you hope that somewhere along the way that they will see the light and realize that life is beautiful and worth living and your wife and child love you or that the people telling you the world hates you may just have ulterior motives.

Chris Morris’s ability to take that bit of wisdom and wrap it in a fantastically funny shell of parody and slapstick humor has put him on my list of future directors to watch and I can without hesitation recommend this movie and the lessons learned within.

Terrorism is wrong and stupid and there is no justification for it, period. On the other hand, seeing a panicking idiot misfire a rocket launcher and accidentally kill a worldwide terrorist mastermind is hilarious and something worth seeing on the big screen.

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