Earlier this week, I lucked into an early screening of the new Chris Morris movie Four Lions, which I gather is not on general release for another week. So, with my exciting advantaged position, I thought this was a good time to post a review on my blog. So, was it any good?
Well, obviously. This film has been knocking around for a while, talked up by millions as the next big topical controversial sweary Brit flick of the times. Basically, the press think this is the next In The Loop. And I fucking loved In The Loop, so I was excited.
The film itself is about a bunch of would-be terrorists in Britain, trying to plan their epic, world-changing jihad. Really, really badly. Farce ensues, and considering this is from Chris Morris and the writers of Peep Show, it does so with the exact mix of satire and cringing humiliation that you’d expect.
Yes, it’ll probably be done by the media as somehow “endorsing terrorism”, but all you need to do is glance at the actual movie to realise that almost all the terrorists are portrayed as being ridiculously thick. The only exception is the lead character, who is allowed to seem sane, albeit obviously misguided.
If the comedy had been less brilliantly honed, this film might have been disturbing, but it’s so expertly done that you honestly barely notice the subject matter much of the time due to being busy laughing. Even when reality does intrude, it’s in a measured way, and with jokes interspersed.
If you’re easily offended, I suspect you will be, but I think we have to live in a world where we’re allowed to mention these things, joke about them and discuss them in an adult manner. Turning them into taboo subjects and leaving them permanently out of reach makes them seem mysterious, horrible and terrifyingly efficient.
In short, if you don’t see this film, or at least accept its existence, the terrorists win.