Monday, 6 September 2010

Four Lions

Chris Morris has certainly never shied away from controversy but does he take it a step too far with terrorists?

This story about four terrorists trying to plan an attack in Britain might seem bold and brash but really, it's just taking the piss out of some idiots who just happen to be terrorists, until the end.

I struggled to find this hilarious, in fact I felt people who thought this was really funny was laughing mainly because of it's oh-so naughty subject matter rather than the content itself. Don't get me wrong, it caters for all types of humour, the grossout crew, the pratfall gags, the 'intelligentsia' crowd, the awkward-Curb audiences but it didn't feel right. In fact, I thought the writers took rather an easy approach to the subject matter. You can tell this is by Peep Show/Thick of it writers (Bain and Armstrong) with the 'witty' dialogue but it's more of a middle class view of what working class Muslim terrorists might be like rather than shaking things up. By having Omar as the main character who actually has some brains and the balls to actually organise a strike, it instead feels like it's a man's mission to prove himself worthy and you almost root for the attack to go successfully, you sympathise with them and for the wrong reasons. But maybe I'm missing the point? So what exactly is the point?

These terrorists feel like they're doing this for lack of a better idea and the way they interact with each other is humorous but really, the terrorist jokes get old after a while. It also turns really sour as Ed, the wannabe-leader, is actually a nasty, horrible person and soon it becomes less matey and more bitter. I didn't want to sit there and have this fake sympathy for these guys as their wives and children can't wait for their man of the house to become a martyr, does that really happen? I don't know, and I don't think they do either.

It's a shame that this feels contrived and controversial for the sake of controversy, it's not proven anything or pushed any boundaries, it's just a run-of-the-mill comedy. I think if you honestly sat and watched it for the jokes, you'd realise it feels like an average British 'mate' comedy with a couple of laughs. I'm a big Chris Morris fan and I was left disappointed, I don't know what he set out trying to do, maybe he lost sight of what he wanted to show after a while, but whatever it is, I left feeling cheated somehow.

I'm being brutal here but it did make me laugh out loud on more than a couple of occasions and so it's worth it just for that, but this isn't the out-and-out bold, brash attempt at stirring things up that I wanted it to be. In fact, it felt lame and forced. I'd imagine that instead of being angry, the terrorists will probably look at the stupid characters and have a good laugh themselves because it's so damn silly. Lame.

Rating: 6/10

1 comment:

  1. Four Lions is a film you expect to be funny given the comedic talent attached, but surprisingly it is also strangely moving as well. I do admire this brilliantly conceptualised film ever.