Reviews

Four Lions

4

It’s jihad day’s night...

Who says fundamentalism can’t be fun? Not Chris Morris, a man on a mission to kick against the pricks who try to decree what we can laugh at and what we can’t.

Hapless suicide bombers are the latest hot button topic for the agent provocateur who brought us ‘Nonce Sense’ and ‘Shatner’s Bassoon’. But pick away at the scab of farce and you’ll find a deadly serious intent.

The Brass Eye bloke is hardly the first filmmaker to locate slivers of humanity in the perpetrators of atrocious acts.

Yet he’s the first to portray them as out-and-out morons, clueless berks whose plot to launch an ill-starred assault on the London Marathon has all the comedic ineptitude of a Dad’s Army manoeuvre or one of Baldrick’s cunning plans.

How nice it would be if jihadists truly were as imbecilic as Riz Ahmed’s merry men with their crazy costumes, malfunctioning IEDs and self-defeating in-fighting.

If the key to winning any war is to understand your enemy, though, Morris’ contention – that when shove comes to push, terrorists are really not much different from the rest of us – has to be more helpful than the usual reductive knee-jerkism that depicts them as heartless monsters and messianic maniacs.

OK, so Four Lions’ attempts to bring a tragic dimension to its bumbling anti-heroes stumble as it reaches its chaotic climax. But for the most part, this daring satire is the best kind of funny: the sort that makes you think as well as laugh.

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