Film: Four Lions
Director: Christopher Morris
Four Lions, like In Bruges, is one of those rare comedies that works extremely well because it doesn't rely on cheap gags to make its audience laugh. Instead, it takes a basic concept and interesting characters, and plays on the absurdity of the situations they get into. The film opens with four British men filming a terrorist video. The threats they are making soon become comical after we realize how inept they are. These guys aren't terrorists--they're wannabe terrorists. Omar (Riz Ahmed) is the most competent of the bunch, but constantly butts heads with the overconfident Barry (Nigel Lindsay), a white convert to Islam who is convinced his plans are guaranteed to work. The other two men, Waj (Kayvan Novak) and Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) are about equally as lame-brained as one another, but in a charming sort of way. When Omar and Waj attend a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, Barry recruits Hassan (Arsher Ali), a fifth member. Upon returning, Omar displays a newfound confidence, and decides to take charge of the group, planning an attack. The men disagree on where to bomb, but they must come to a compromise in order for their dreams to be realized. This film never reaches a ludicrous point, and all of the characters are fully committed to making the story work. Several scenes cause legitimate belly laughs, which serves as a testament to the superior writing and direction of this film. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this.