Victoria Jelinek

We Are Four Lions
January 4, 2011, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Published film reviews | Tags: , ,

A radical British Muslim named Omar has formed a terrorist cell with his dim-witted brother Waj, a nervous bomb maker, Fessal, and an angry white convert named Barry who later recruits wannabe-rapper Hassan. After going to Pakistan in a misguided attempt to train in a Mujahedeen training camp, Omar returns to Britain with the plan for a suicide attack on a Western target – any Western target will do.

This sounds like a pretty serious and controversial plot – it’s certainly relevant. However, these terrorists are bumbling, squabbling and inept. That said, Director Chris Morris doesn’t undermine the danger that these types present to themselves and to any civilians who wander into their range.  This film doesn’t attempt to answer large questions of why young men who seem to have benefited from living in a multicultural Western nation would want to hurt themselves and random strangers for some mutant notion of Islam. It’s full of silly humour that will cause some to laugh a lot, and did prompt this reviewer to chuckle a few times even as I found the characters and the circumstances and events of their lives tedious and looked at my watch several times throughout the film. Given the concept and its relevance, it could have been a very good film if it’d actually been well-written and incorporated some of the great British humour that’s clever and dry.

What is appreciated about this film is that its not politically correct. It’s likely to offend quite a few people across the political and belief spectrum and in a climate of watered-down opinions and lip-service in the public forum by us all, this is great.

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