Review: Four Lions
You would be forgiven if you made a startled double-take upon reading the synopsis of British film, Four Lions. A hilarious caper that follows four hapless jihadists with thought-provoking consequences? Yes. But it works.
Mixing comedy and terrorism is not a subject for the faint-hearted director. But the suitably fearless Chris Morris does it with finesse as he returns with a dark and farcical satire that follows the lives of a group of Islamists who reach tipping point in their bid to fulfil misguided dreams of martyrdom.
Rather than the reverent respect you may expect when dealing with suicide bombers as subject matter, we have light-hearted contempt: terrorists may be stereotyped as cold and calculated but sometimes they are just plain stupid, as this film shows.
Our four main protagonists are clearly more interested in the idea of terrorism than any of its ideologies. As they stumble from one misadventure to the next, with comic aplomb, you have to remind yourself this is not just a drama in the Carry On mould. What this film manages to do is to toe the line by being purposefully preposterous, but never offensive. It entertains and excites but never threatens to diminish the real lesson here, that the gravity of terrorism is not something to be ignored.