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Four Lions

Submitted by admin on November 8, 2010 – 3:20 pmNo Comment
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Four Lions stands on a shelf of the best comedies of the last few years: In The Loop, Superbad, Four Lions. Oh sure, there are other comedies, Will Farrell films and Judd Apatow films but I’m talking about laughing sustainability. This satire of a group of Muslim terrorists in London will have the viewer laughing out loud, and the more outrageous the situations become the bigger the laughs. We’re obviously treading into Strangelove, people dying, farcical territory.

From the director Chris Morris’ press notes: “In three years of research, I have spoken to terrorism experts, imams, police, secret services, and hundred of Muslims. Even those who’ve trained and fought jihad report the frequency of farce. On millennium eve, five jihadis planned to ram a US warship with a launch full of bombs. In the dead of night they slipped their boat into the water. They stacked it with explosives. They stepped in. It sank. Terrorist cells have the same group dynamics as stag parties and five a side football teams. There is conflict, friendship, misunderstanding and rivalry. Terrorism is about ideology, but it’s also about imbeciles.”

Morris has previously worked on the UK TV shows Brass Eye and The Day Today. Much of the humor of Four Lions evolves from the situations, like when the quartet ask for vacation time off work but travel to Pakistan where they’ve enrolled in terrorist training camp. They try to take out a drone plane with an RPG only to end up blowing up their hosts. An attempt to train a crow to fly with a bomb taped to its body lends itself to Monty Pythonesque humor. But the language itself pushes Four Lions over the top. It’s some of the funniest name calling and insult hurling, only with lots of British street slang, that you’ve ever heard. Four Lions will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but fans of excellent politically incorrect humor will have a field day.

- Michael Bergeron

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