Four Lions (2010) is an excellent comedy about terrorism. The film is funny, perceptive and moving. It’s remarkable that such a film could be made.
The film concerns 5 terrorists who band together to perform an act of terrorism. Two of them go off to Pakistan for training but return quickly. Omar is leader, he’s a relatively young man with a young child and a wife. His wife, interesting, encourages his jihad. His crew includes Barry, who is a Caucasian convert and provides much of the comic relief. The discussions between Omar and Barry are hilarious. Omar also has a brother who is deeply religious but with whom Omar has poor relations.
Film comedies often fail because films need a plot, in Four Lions the plot is used to give the film depth but also for laughs. It really comes off well. Everyone is made fun of in the film. The Jihadis, the police, politicians and everyone in between.
One of humour’s great uses is to diffuse tension on subjects that are hard to talk about. Four Lions does that well. But for a comedy regardless of how the material is regarded the critical test is if is funny and Four Lions also manages that with aplomb.
4.5 / 5