Four Lions

Released:  2010

Cast:  Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsay, Arsher Ali, Adeel Akhtar

SUMMARY:  In Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, several Buslim men decide to wage a jihad, and become suicide bombers.  Two of the men compete for control of the group:  the first is Omar (Riz Ahmed), who seems to be the smartest and most rational of the group; the second is Barry (Nigel Lindsay), a white convert to Islam who is in a perpetually foul mood.  The rest of the group is made up of Waj (Kayvan Novak), Omar’s close (and rather dim) friend; Faisal (Adeel Akhtar), the most naïve member of the group who does whatever he is told, and Hassan (Arsher Ali), who is recruited by Barry after he pretends to be a suicide bomber at a conference.  In order to become suicide bombers, Omar and Waj go to a training camp in Pakistan, but the superiors quickly realize their ineptitude.  In an attempt to win favor one day, Omar launches a rocket at a drone:  however, he launches the rocket backward, and instead kills all the other men at the camp.  When he and Waj return to England, they claim that they completed camp, and Omar takes more control of the group.

The men have decided to go ahead with their bomb plot, but cannot agree on what to bomb (Faisel suggests using trained crows strapped with bombs, but is unable to get the birds to fly anywhere before they blow up).  Barry wants to blow up a mosque and blame it on the opposition, thus causing Muslims to rise up, but Omar thinks this is incredibly stupid.  While they continue to argue, Hassan lets a neighbor into the safe house, forcing the men to move their bomb supplies.  The men carry the supplies through town in grocery bags; when Faisal trips in a field, he blows up.  After this, the remaining men decide to bomb the London Marathon.  To hide the explosives strapped to their bodies, the men wear costumes.  Before the marathon starts, Hassan gets cold feet and tries to surrender to police:  Barry uses his cell phone to detonate Hassan’s bomb, which puts police on the lookout for the remaining three.  Omar starts to have second thoughts, and tries to call Waj to call of the bombing:  in the process, he is attacked by Barry, who eats the SIM card from the phone.  When he starts to choke on the card, a nearby man does the Heimlich maneuver on him, causing Barry’s bomb to explode.  Waj holes up in a kebab shop, and later blows up his bomb in confusion when the police invade.  When Omar realizes that Waj is dead, he walks into a pharmacy and detonates his bomb.  At the end of the film, it is revealed that the rocket fired by Omar in Pakistan killed Osama bin Laden.

MY TAKE:  I never thought that I would laugh at a movie about terrorists/suicide bombers, but I did.  This movie is hilarious.  The men are completely inept, and their stupidity about what they’re doing is incredibly funny.  This movie is also a lot more thought-provoking than I thought it would be.  At the end, all of the men die, most of them from their bombs.  Most of them also take at least one other person with them, which makes you realize that it isn’t that hard to cause a lot of mayhem.  These guys are total morons, and they managed to blow up several targets and kill multiple people.  Basically, the ending sucks.  Even though they want to be suicide bombers, I couldn’t help but become attached to the men, so I was really irritated when they died.  It seemed like Omar was having a change of heart, and realizing that what he was doing was wrong.  Instead, Waj accidentally blows himself up, and Omar is so upset that he also detonates his bomb.  The entire movie is hysterical, and then the ending is really serious and sad.

RATING:  Really good, and really funny.


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