Jump to content
LimeGreenLegend

Four Lions [XDBX Film Club 13]

Recommended Posts

djw180

This is very good film, quite brave of the people involved, I bet many film makers would not go near it. I do find it a little hard to understand at times if something was meant to be funny and I just didn't find it funny or some bits are meant to be more serious, even quite touching in places. e.g. the relationship between Omar and his wife and son. His wife knows he is a suicide bomber, but I'm not sure if his son does. There are some hilarious bits though, Waj making his video with a toy gun, Omar and Waj accidentally killing Osama bin Laden with miss aimed missile, Barry the 'brave' leader happy to send others to their deaths but not so keen to put his life on the line, and the always brilliant Kevin Eldon as the incompetent police sniper killing the wrong person after debating with his colleague whether someone in a Chewbacca costume or someone in a Honey Monster costume is the 'target in a bear costume' they have been told is the terrorist. That last bit might have been even funnier where it not for the fact that the police have made such lethal mistakes in real-life.

 

I live in Sheffield, the city where this was filmed. And I find it very difficult not to pick faults relating to the locations, I just can't help myself. There's lots of locations I recognise, such as a place where I used to work and a place I walk past on my way to work now. We see Omar on tram watching a TV screen, they don't have those on Sheffield trams and given he is on his way to work, at Meadowhall shopping centre, he is also clearly on the wrong tram line! There's other things as well, but of course 'accuracy' of the locations does not really matter because, as far as I recall, they never say the story is based in Sheffield. But the one thing I do think matters a bit is them using the Sheffield half-marathon to shoot the scenes that are supposed to be the London marathon.

 

Anyway, I enjoyed watching it again. I'll give it 7/10.

  • Like 1
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LimeGreenLegend
2 minutes ago, djw180 said:

but I'm not sure if his son does

I'm pretty sure he does.  Omar uses the Lion King analogy where he's Simba the suicide bomber, and in the scene where he has left the group after Faisal dies I think his son says something that shows he knows his dads intentions.  

  • Like 2

LimeGreenLegend.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Con

Four Lions

giphy.gif

This was quite a ride of conflicting emotions for me. I laughed when I shouldn't have and felt bad when I shouldn't have, man I was all types of mixed up. I think this is the strength of the film, it's not that I sympathized with the men's grievances, I just saw them like regular guys living regular lives except their hobby is a fucked up one. I rooted for them but in the sense that I wanted them to wake up and see that they had a choice to just live full lives without having to kill others or themselves.

I mean, I always felt that it was one thing for some poor kid born in the middle eastern desert to be brainwashed into the Jihad since everything around him has always been bleak and the only joy he knows is through a form of a God. That kid, yeah I can see him grown up and wanting to strap a bomb on his body to kill infidels or what have you, but the Jihadists we see in the film are experiencing living in the first world. They aren't walking down the street being antagonized for what they look like, at least not in their faces. Take the jogging neighbor Matt (Craig Parkinson), he embraces Omar (Riz Ahmed) and seems to be genuinely friendly with him. Even when he becomes suspicious at the bags they are carrying, once Omar tells him they are football kits, he just carries on with his jog. Wake up Omar, you have so much to live for and aren't doing it in a cave or underground. Your wife isn't lugging water for miles on her head, she has a nice job at the hospital. Your son is not playing on a dirt floor, swatting away flies, trying to ignore his hunger. You have plenty to live for and want to throw it away on some God concept. What kind of God gives you life just for you to destroy yourself for him? Head-scratching shit if ya ask me. 

The filmmakers did a great job balancing the severity of the plan with the comedy and slapstick.  But i have to admit that in certain scenes I was pulled out of the immersion, like when we first meet Hassan (Arsher Ali) the rapping Jihadist, he is in a town meeting with a fake bomb strapped to himself and the people don't react realistically at all. No one around him really leaves and I thought that scene was very lame and moments like that were the low lights of the film, when the threats are very real and yet the people don't behave accordingly, it feels like a sketch and not part of a film. I understand the scene exists just so Barry (Nigel Lindsey) can recruit Hassan but no way people just sit around when a guy has announced he has explosives strapped to him and shows them. The marathon scenes created much conflict within me as I wanted to laugh at them failing but at the same time I felt that I should have been angry that they were trying to kill innocent people. I just think that by that time I wanted the film to end. 

Some of the jokes didn't land and like I said, probably has to do with the film not being American and me not recognizing the joke. But then there were some fun moments like during the bottles of bleach scene when Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) is asked why the women is covering her face and he says..."She has a beard." lmao. Or the dancing in the moonlight scene where Hassan breaks several Islamic mandates like listening to music and having a woman, a white woman in the same room, etc...i laughed so hard cause Hassan is doing karaoke with Alice (Julia Davis) the neighbor who thankfully is just as clueless as he is and doesn't find the things around the apartment suspicious because she is just trying to live her life without malice and its so funny that she ends the relationship because she thinks they are gay muslims. Another thing i found funny was that there was no one that represented "the voice of reason", I mean, even Omar's wife Sofia (Preeya Kalidas) appears to edge that way but then even she has given her blessings to the plan. Again, here is another example of how powerful this brainwashing is of the children as not even Sofia blinks at the notion of her husband killing himself for a God that somehow is going to bless her family with one less bread winner. Again, i'm assuming Sofia learned to accept the Jihadist way as she was taught as a child.

My favorite scene in the film was the Sim card eating one...that was a quality belly laugh from Waj's (Kayvan Novak) lines like , "Can I cook mine' and "we're eating our sim cards"... I found that so funny. Because then Omar walks in and tells them that the sim card can still be tracked inside them. lol. Overall Four Lions was a good film that tackled a serious topic with comedic grace and knew when to pull out never allowing me to focus on the seriousness of the plan and reminding me that it was a comedy. A bold comedy that I can see why it could be despised if you have been affected or traumatized by a terrorist incident. As I type this, just a day ago a man was shot to death in London after another terrorist stabbing attack. I can see how I would be concerned if someone of middle eastern descent was next to me in London and can understand the fear people must feel...and there is nothing funny about that. A group of assholes ruin what could be an otherwise peaceful existence among the people...that's the travesty and that is why Four Lions isn't a comedy to everyone. 

Final Verdict...3/5...While I appreciated the vision and boldness, I found some of the scenes came across as comedy skits you would see on a variety show like SNL which took me out of the immersion. What this film did a great job was toying with my natural instinct to want to see the underdog succeed at the same time an undercurrent of discomfort would click in and remind me that these underdogs want to kill innocent people and I should not empathize with none of them. There are films where we cheer on the villain, like in Nightmare on Elm Street, i mean, who didn't want to see Freddy get those kills? In Four Lions, you may find yourself cheering for the villains when you don't mean to...don't worry, it's just proof that you are more human than they could ever be. I'd like to give this a higher score because there will probably never be another film handling the subject of terrorist bombers like this but I felt the ending was a bit rushed and the payoff was not satisfying. I recently watched JoJo Rabbit, which could fall into the same satirical category, and that film uses a child in the same way Four Lions uses these terrorists, except that I found the empathy for the villains was much harder to pull off in Four Lions because they are grown men that at no time should get any of our empathy or sympathy so if I had to watch either one again, it would be Four Lions. 

Edited by Con
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LimeGreenLegend
5 minutes ago, Con said:

In Four Lions, you may find yourself cheering for the villains when you don't mean to...don't worry, it's just proof that you are more human than they could ever be.

Great line!

  • Thanks 1

LimeGreenLegend.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Smurf

The first time I looked this movie up on YouTube, I immediately saw 3 African guys flying in a canoe, they obviously messed up the title but it looks like a fun watch.

Then I found it. It for whatever reason reminded me of Naked Gun but in a bad way. Watching these guys making their terrorist video with Waj & that miniature toy AK-47 was stressful man, Then he scooched up to the cameras to make it look bigger. 🤪  Then Omar let his family watch it for a family review & not a ounce of care was shown from them knowing full well it's a terrorist video, that life Insurance payout must be amazing.

The training camp scene, guess Waj finally got his hands on a real Ak to shoot a grown up terrorist video. sigh! Skip ahead how does one fire a unguided rocket in the wrong direction with a big arrow on the side showing you what end it's coming out, & possibly killing allies while alerting enemies of their position. I was rooting for the Drone at that point to take out these idiots but it never did. Why? Idk.

After the man of many IRA voices Faisel gathered the chemicals from the same store ofcourse, was transferring the dangerous chemicals via the racist Jewish car with the bigoted Jewish parts, had the nerve to brake down when it was needed the most. They picked on by kids while running with the chemicals, & they taught a neighbor how to squat walk. smh As Faisel was practicing with the sheeps he blew up skyhigh then his friends tried to justify it & make Him a martyr of the sheeps, Jesus. 

Even the cops had me worried as they tried to figure out costumes after killing a citizen whether the target is a wookie or a brown beer ect.... 

Anyways Omar got Waj killed & all the rest of the terrorists blew up. Smurf & Omar's hot ex wife is about to squat walk to the bank and spend the insurance payout. Got to buy us a "flying canoe" though, that title is a space invasion movie bursting at the seams to happen.

 

 

Edited by Smurf
  • Like 2

VIDEO GAMES DON'T MAKE US VIOLENT, LAG & PEOPLE DOES. ezgif.com-resize_zpslg5pf79o.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...