It really shouldn’t work. A black comedy that’s basically about four terrorists, planning an atrocity on UK soil? That’s surely a film that’s designed to wind up tabloid newspapers? In the wrong hands, it certainly could have been. But under the diligent stewardship of Chris Morris, Four Lions
emerges as one of the best films of the year.
It’s a perfectly pitched, at times rightly uncomfortable comedy, that brings together a quartet of inept terrorists, who when we meet them, can’t even put a video together without it falling into farce. It’s an opening scene that sets up Four Lions perfectly. And led by the terrific Riz Ahmed and the scene-stealing Nigel Lindsay, the company of actors rise to the challenge that Chris Morris sets them.
Four Lions isn’t a perfect film, though. The tone is a little uneven at times, and it’s very much one that’s going to feel more at home on a television than a cinema screen. But it’s still a daring, risky and at times extremely funny piece of work. And it’s one not afraid to pull the rug on you, either, never shielding itself away from the undercurrents of its subject matter. It’s the most ambitious comedy in a long, long time, and it’s credit to all concerned that it works as well as it does. --Simon Brew
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), WIDESCREEN, SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Deleted Scenes, Documentary, Featurette, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: In a British city, four men have a secret plan. Omar (Riz Ahmed) is disillusioned about the treatment of muslims around the world and is determined to become a soldier. This is the most exciting idea Waj (Kayvan Novak) has ever heard. Better still it's a no brainer because Omar does his thinking for him. Opposed to Omar and everyone else on earth is the white islamic convert Barry (Nigel Lindsay). He'd realize he joined the cell to channel his nihilism - If he had half the self knowledge of a duck. Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) is the odd man out. He can make a bomb - but he can't blow himself up just now coz his sick dad has 'started eating newspaper'. Instead he's training crows to fly bombs through windows. This is what Omar has to deal with. They must strike a decisive blow on their own turf but can any of them strike a match without punching himself in the face? SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Sundance Film Festival, ...Four Lions (2010) ( Tesseris leontes ) ( 4 Lions )