"Roaring with Laughter"
What You Need To Know:
FOUR LIONS is shot in deadpan documentary fashion, as if a team of filmmakers were following all their plans. As the story develops, some of the men exhibit moral qualms over their impending attacks. All wind up expressing regret and loss over their empty lives and misguided attempt at heroism. For this, FOUR LIONS goes beyond a sharply etched, though comical, depiction of despicable terrorist behavior and attains a deeper emotional level that discerning viewers will appreciate. Sadly, there’s an excessive amount of foul language, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
(B, FRFR, LLL, VV, MM) Light moral satire of four Muslim characters, composed of three men of Arabic descent and one Caucasian convert, all of whom want to commit acts of terror as part of the jihad movement, but the film is a strong satire of their cause and nearly all their plans and the execution of plots are portrayed in ludicrously humorous fashion with the tone perfectly placed against those who think terrorism is the way to salvation, with some serious overtones at the end; at least 75 obscenities and profanities, including some “f” words and some GDs; strong violence (often comic) as the main characters engage in launching missiles and setting off bombs, but the results – which always occur as mishaps – are heavily covered in smoke, akin to the human equivalent of a “Road Runner” cartoon; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, lying, terrorist tries to get crows to fly bombs and Muslim terrorists are bumblers but movie shows they are wasting their lives as well as trying to kill others.
FOUR LIONS is a refreshingly daring satire of radical Islam and Jihadism, taking a ruthless dead aim at those who engage in Islam-inspired domestic terrorism in England. It follows the disastrous mishaps of four misguided men: three who are Arabic, and one who is a Caucasian convert to the cause. The movie shows them engaged in the creation of ridiculous terror videos; attempts to buy and store weapons and bomb-making materials; a disastrous trip by two of the men to Pakistan to join Al-Qaeda, an attempt they hilariously ruin; and, ultimately, their hopeless attempt to bomb the London Marathon by wearing giant costumes of characters, including a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit and an ostrich suit.
The movie is shot in deadpan documentary fashion, as if a team of filmmakers were following all their plans. As the story develops, however, some of the men exhibit moral qualms over their impending attacks and all wind up expressing their regrets and sense of loss over their empty lives and misguided attempt at heroism. For this, FOUR LIONS goes beyond its sharply etched depiction of despicable terrorist behavior and attains a deeper emotional level that discerning viewers will appreciate.
There are some who will say that terrorism should not be the topic of comedy, but “Four Lions” audaciously takes many chances and gets them right. The movie doesn’t mock those who fight terrorism and doesn’t say that the threat doesn’t exist. If anything, it offers viewers a chance to feel something other than worry over the terror threats that exist in the real world. It may even serve the purpose of damaging terrorist morale by showing them in a humorously pathetic light. Overall, the movie’s extensive foul language is the major qualm for FOUR LIONS. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.