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4.2 out of 5 stars
Four Lions [DVD]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2013
It must be one of the funniest films about. I first saw it at the Cinema with 3 friends and I recall we could
not stop laughing to extent of crying with laughter
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2012
When a controversial subject hits the media and gains widespread coverage, someone at some point will make a spoof of it to try and expose its funny side. In this case, the subject is terrorism - something that at first might not seem funny at all, but which is morphed into a good laugh here by director Chris Morris and a collection of excellent actors playing a gang of British jihadi terrorists whose worst enemy is their own stupidity.

Morris deserves praise for writing a film about such a near-the-knuckle topic, but he deserves particular credit for his patience and diligence when putting the script together, having spent several years researching the plot and interviewing people who knew their stuff. The plot in itself is strong too, with plenty of twists and turns and a speed that is not difficult to follow (despite what some reviewers will have you believe). The one concession I will make about the plot is that the ending does turn out to be quite sad, something that even the most ardent fans of the film will probably admit to.

But the actors all put on strong performances, and make their characters not only funny but also very believable. Omar is the group leader, and is the only halfway sensible member of the clan, armed with a no-nonsense and generally upfront attitude. Waj, apparently a relative of Omar's, is hilarious throughout with the thoughts of a eight year-old and barely a trace of any adult intelligence. Faisal isn't much brighter, attempting to train crows as suicide bombers and stockpiling combustible chemicals all bought from the same shop. Barry is an excellent addition as the only white member of the group, developing some absurd attitudes and practices for the other members of the group and using equally ridiculous reasoning to justify it. Hassan, the fifth and final member of the group, seems less stupid than the others but is addicted to using his camera and makes crucial blunders that force the group to completely re-write their plans.

In short, the humour in the film sounds like a lot of tired, drawn-out and pedantic excuses being strung together within the same argument, which is what makes some of the humour so ludicrous. The other style of humour that works particularly well comes up whenever Omar reverts to using Urdu, usually when having a go at Waj or one of the other members of the group. The translations, given in English subtitles, are incredibly coarse but for that reason alone a bloody good laugh. You can decide for yourself what the funniest moment of the whole film is - for me personally it was the garage scene with Faisal, Barry and Hassan shortly after Hassan is recruited, which had my friends and me laughing louder than anybody else in the cinema.

If you're an excessively politically correct person, you probably won't like this film. If you don't understand British humour (or better said, if you don't have a dark and slightly warped sense of humour), you probably won't like this film. If you pride yourself on being prim and proper and are averse to swearing and perceived "stupidity", you certainly won't like the film. Other than that, my recommendation would be to get the film and enjoy watching it. Four Lions isn't a stupid film made for stupid people. It's a stupid film made for people with a realistic, down-to-earth sense of humour. Sometimes it's in man's nature to be un-PC, and it's also in man's nature to be prejudiced, no matter how intelligent we might be. Plenty of Muslims have written positive comments on this film (largely since they know that the film isn't attacking non-extremist Muslims), just take a look at YouTube clips from the film if you want proof. And the fact of the matter is that people have been laughing about grim subjects, coarse humour and other people's misfortune for literally centuries, regardless of how it might not seem funny at all if it happened in real life. No-one would laugh if they saw a man in the street punch himself in the face. You can laugh when Barry does it in Four Lions.

P.S. if you liked this, check out Lance Manley's book "Stab Proof Scarecrows", another good middle finger to political correctness.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2011
Lets start with the film itself before we review the dvd. Hilarious. No doubts. This was a risque subject matter but it was handled well. The bufoon bombers are typical uneducated who seriously dont have a clue why they are doing what they are doing and this probably goes to all these idiots that blow themselves up taking innocent lives with them. These people are cowards and this film exposes their cowardice in a laughable manner.

The character of Barry is priceless. Easily the funniest in the film. They should make a movie about the buffons in the BNP too and call that cowardly lions because I think a film exposing their idiocy needs to be done.

The dvd itself:- No commentary. Definately should have had a commentary track. The deleted scenes are hilarious too. Cannot understand why they were deleted other than timing reasons possibly but good to see these included.

Other extras include a few short making off interviews.

The cover is a bit offputting to any marketing campaign. In the front is a picture of a crow. In the back a character from the film dressed as an Ostrich. The title "Four Lions" but other than that nothing to explain what this film was all about. Very strange! Clearly bad campaigning for a great film.

I only bought it because I had seen it on television. If I did not know the subject matter I would not have a clue what this was all about.

However buy this as this is British comedy at its best
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2010
Gave the movie a five star rate because it needs to be watched enjoyed and laughed with... and not at.
I felt it was a bit like watching Dr Who from behind the sofa, not from the scariness but from wincing at the humour and the skewed truth of inept terrorists. At the confusion of wanting to be a hero and a follower of a religion and getting it all wrong.
The ignorance and sheer horror of western politicians and those ''in charge'' who have too much power and add to the mess of the whole thing. Who in fact make it worse and devalue those who are confused and have nothing
This film need to be watched on a smaller screen, I did'nt go to the flicks but waited for the dvd, so it is close up and personal.
I can really recommend this movie it is both thoughtful and laugh out loud, so loud it made me get out from behind the sofa.

Dont know if it is black comedy think it is more black funny truth and Chris Morris has done it again
laughing and thinking together is good......
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2010
Maybe I've been digging too deep but I found the story very moving and sad. It'a clever movie where behind a comic background hides the tragedy of four people destroying themselves, their families and well, a Kebab shop. All that topped up with brilliant jokes nevertheless. Chris Morris on top form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2012
First of all this film is a send up of terrorists themselves it's not aimed to glorify them it mocks them.
There are some belting one liners in this film (rubber dingy rapids!!!)
The ending of the film is quite suprising
Buy this film if you like a laugh!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2011
This film is brilliant, also stupid, but it works. One of the best films I saw in 2010! It doesn't make fun of Islam as people suggest, it instead makes fun of the stereotypes made on Muslims. There are two groups here, one is a big group of Muslims, who are kind and friendly and believe in Islam properly, while the small group is just some brainwashed idiots who think they are doing something good when they haven't.

The film focuses on the small group, and gives an indication that some of these bombers, aren't even Islamic, and also the fact in the end they know it's wrong and try to back out of it. Instead it's the white crazy man who thinks he is a muslim that wants to do it.

This film shouldn't be taken seriously it is funny, and some of the actors in here are Muslims, if it was offensive to Muslims I am sure they wouldn't have been in this film.

Lots of laughable bits in it, always brings a smile to your face, it is quite a unique film.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2011
A comedy about suicide bombers is not the easiest type of undertaking but this one is right on the mark.
Brilliant acting. Brilliant writing. Illustrates the fact that most suicide bombers in quest of the promised virgins in heaven
are virgins themselves and not all that bright.
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VINE VOICEon 25 March 2014
This film has to go down as one of the great directoral successes, bearing in mind it takes on the current issue of Islamist terrorism and manages to do so in a way that is thought-proving and includes real humour and pathos.

The brilliant Riz Ahmed leads a small mis-matched band of UK jihadists which, via a disastrous sojourn to Afghanistan, plus losing one or two members along the way, reaches the point of no return...

The film is at all times riveting, and contains many moments of laugh-out-loud humour, but never forgets its core message - its main characters are portrayed as real people, and, particularly in Ahmed's case, very likeable, but fundamentally and tragically misguided.

This film ranks alongside Doctor Strangelove as one of the greatst black comedies of all time.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2012
The film is about a group of incredibly inept suicide bombers and their struggle to become martyrs. An interesting premise for a comedy but Four Lions makes it work fantastically. The film attracted lots of controversy and given the subject matter that is not surprising. It treads a fine line but one of the reasons it works is because it takes such a serious and controversial subject and has a bit of fun with it in a world where everyone is stereo-typically inept. It doesn't try to make a political statement (other than perhaps about free speech and that nothing should be off limits in the realm of comedy), it doesn't mock the victims or the jihadis, it even makes you care about the characters and it most importantly never forgets that it is a comedy pure and simple. To summerise this is one of the best comedies I've seen in a long time.
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