Four Lions – Movie Review

movie reviewFour LionsFrom time to time it’s good to go into the theater for a movie that’s not your weekly blockbuster. This time I had the pleasure to watch ‘Four Lions’. Now you may or may not have heard of this movie. Therefore a short intro to the matter.

Living in todays world can be a horrible thing. A permanent fear of terrorist attacks. May it be an attack, biological warfare or suicide bombers. Now the movie is about some young men living in London. All of them with an islamist religion background and roots. All of them are persuaded by the fanatic speeches and beliefs of a Jihad to kill as much infidels as possible. So they start planning their own terrorist attack. Now our characters aren’t the most amazing examples of the perfect Jihad fighter/soldier and throughout the movie we follow these guys on their endeavour to become true Jihad soldiers and attempt a suicide bombing attack.

Now you might say that this can only be a very serious movie. But no it isn’t. It’s one of the most clever and funny movies I personally have ever seen. Ok it plays a lot with cliche and things like that. Nonetheless I was very suprised at how balanced the movie handles the comedy and the indeed serious subject matter. It’s never losing itself in some stupid unnecessary dumb situations. I must also note that you would normally think that it would be hard to think yourself into one of the characters, feel sympathy, since you normally don’t plan to blow yourself up. Now we’re all pursuing a dream in life and that’s what these guys are doing too. No doubt a questionable dream. But still, as we can see in the movie, a goal not easy to achieve. We follow these guys and see what the problems and complications are. We see how much comedy can be won out of this otherwise serious theme.

The movie is surely no high end Hollywood production and it doesn’t need to be one. The acting is great and the comedic moments are hilarious. We can also recognize how blinded our characters are by all the fanatism, religion and all the weird stuff that happens in our world today regarding these things. Sometimes we can even see doubt in their eyes. The movie stays consequent to its end and brings a (at least for me) strong message accross. The poor people who are blowing themselfes up in the streets of Afghanistan or Pakistan or whereever, must be very confused individuals. At the same time, even if they understand that it’s wrong to do what they plan to do, they still do it because of the honor. These mostly young men are persuaded to go down such a sad path. And these poor people have no choice. Now you might say “of course! you always have a choice!” and while in theory that might be true, it isn’t for these people. They decided to do it and they have to do it. No matter if they realized what a horrible thing it all is or if they fear death. And they want you to know they embraced it and died with a smile in their face.

So ultimately it’s a funny and very sad movie. While you can enjoy watching it and love the comedic moments… when the end credits roll you start to think what really happened there. And suddenly it became a serious movie. Our main characters are mostly caricatures with a few exceptions. And in the end you’re sad that all these things happened to these young and innocent men. They had it in their own hands you might argue but at the same time they didn’t.

I can only recommend it. It’s hilarious. But I wouldn’t recommend the movie to people who are out to watch a fun movie like Hangover or Scary Movie. Or… maybe especially these people should watch it to open their minds a bit? I don’t know. I enjoyed it. Go see it if you have the chance.

7.9/10

PS: Yeah i’m guilty… i loved Hangover. ;p

Four Lions on IMDb

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