Okay all you unbelievers Fundamentalism is Fun!! Well it is for Chris Morris’ jihadist black comedy Four Lions which is now out for your martyrdom fun on DVD.
If you know Chris Morris he is a man who doesnt run away from issues which many would find offensive, sensative, or even sweep under the carpetthriving on them and no matter what you think of those issues he has probaly covered them on his past adventures, things which have to be covered. To cover those issue sometimes a good way to approach them is to take a stairical comedy approach so things like religion, fundamentalism in Islam may not not appeal or even be a no go area for some.
Religion & fundamentalism arent funny matters but we’re talking about Chris morris here the man who brought us Todays The Day and Brass Eye. He’s the man who certainly knows how to grab peoples attention in such issues, you just have to look back at his Brass Eye Paedophila episode which made news worldwide but most of grabbed peoples attention on the issue enciting debate. Four Lions you’ll think will be all out to offend but it actually doesnt nor does it try to push blame on anyone.
Four Lions is four unlikely muslim lads living Sheffield England determined to become jihadists as well as Martyrs for there cause. Omar(Riz Hamed), Waz (Kayvan Novak), Barry (Nigel Lindsay), Faisal (adeel Akhtar) aren’t what you would called religious but more nutjobs who use Islam as the excuse to dish out there angst & nihalism in order to terror bomb the London Marathon.
One thing must be made clear here at no point in the movie does Chris Morris attempt to glorify or focus soley on fundamentalism but what he does is target the stupidity and farcical levels people will go to to believe what is right and what is wrong. The movie does let us know how dangerous fundamentalists of any faith or religion can be nor does try to answer the question why young men & women living in a multi-cultural society to kill for the sake of becoming Martyrs. Possibly Omars brother Waz has the answer by telling us Martyrdom will be like ‘Rubber Dinghy Rapids’ at Alton Towers!
The banter between the four guys is fantastically hilarous and if there was such a thing they foursome seem to break every rule in the terrorists rulebook to terrorism. If you where a terrorist leader would you want to seriously consider these 4 wannabes who want to bomb the internet, strap bombs to crows and train them to fly into peoples homes or wear cardboard boxes to hide your face whilst creating your martyrdom video? There antics are more Monty Python meets Dad’s Army with Will.e.coyottee than 24!
When you take a look at the four wannabe jihadists the only true madman between them is the white muslim convert Barry who is truely psychotic as well as persausive, bigoted man who blames broken down cars to having parts made by Jews and buying jaffa cake biscuitsis you donating to the Israeli Nuclear fund programme! Out of the bunch Omar seems to be the only level headed one of the lot who tells his son the stories about jihadi the lion and on the other hand has a conscience asking why am I doing this. As for Waz and Faisal they are two whom brainwashing would be so easy, they need guidance of some sort but their that stupid if you told them to jump off a cliff they would do it no questions asked.
Tell me how many terrorists do you know dress up us clowns, emus, honey monsters or even ninja turtles? probably none but if you want to disguise your self well they should have taken note of the mast of disguise the Jackyll. Along with digs at the stupidity of fundamentalism Morris even has a dig at the incmpetentance of the nation’s police/security force as they cant decipher the difference between a wookie and the honey monster and shoot a innocent marathon runner instead which is a reference to the fatal farcical killing of Brazillian man Charles De Menzes a few years back in London.
The movie is a product of several years of good solid research which prevents Morris film falling into the generic pitfalls many other movies/dramas having falling into.Four Lions is an refreshing approach on a sensative subject matter which has been pushed to the limits carefully not to overstep but to entertain whilst poking fun at how farcical fundamentalism can be but not forgetting the dangers it can be. This isn’t the perfect movie in any sense but one that does make you feel sympathetic of the alienation many ethic social groups struggle with in todays so called multicutural society.
Four Lions will shock some of you but not intentionally to offend but to remind us of a reality check that these extremists do exist.If anyone is offended its the right wing middle class daily mail reading prawn sandwich brigade who constantly tell us what and not what tolaugh at, from Chris Morris he salutes you with a two finger salute!!!
Movie Rating: 4/5
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