Friday, December 24, 2010

Four Points on "Four Lions"

Hate to keep this so painfully short, but with the holiday madness (how is it already Christmas Eve!?), expect posting here to die down a little. So, without further adieu, here are some quick thoughts on Chris Morris' Four Lions, a satire about four British Jihadists in London written by half of the team that gave us last year's phenomenally funny In the Loop:

  • To be brief, no, this isn't as good as In the Loop. It is, however, still very funny and a touch sobering. And unlike so many comedies out there, Morris' film actually gets funnier as it goes along, instead of running out of steam after the first act.
  • Like In the Loop, the entire ensemble, which is considerably smaller here, is pitch perfect, even though the screenplay has a few little blips (the inclusion of Omar's wife and child and a stupid neighbor don't entirely flow well with the rest of the on-screen antics).
  • Aside from The Social Network, this deserves to go down as some of the best-written dialogue of the year ("Jews invented spark plugs to control global traffic!!").
  • I have no doubt that this film will be even more criminally overlooked than In the Loop, which is a shame, because along with that political satire, Four Lions is easily one of the strongest comedies of the past 5, or even 10, years. And it its own strange way, there's something almost touching about parts of the ending, which is remarkable when you consider who our main characters are.
Grade: B+

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