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4 lions

4 Lions

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kayvan Novak, Nigel Lindsay, Darren Boyd
Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain Christopher Morris with additional writing by Simon Blackwell
Directed by Christopher Morris

IN SHORT: Terrorism as comedy. [Rated R for language throughout including some sexual references . 102 minutes]

Let me make this perfectly clear: Terrorism is not funny. A movie about completely inept humans trying to be terrorists -- and it's not an idea that is too far off the mark, having been done for other "occupations" -- could be, and in this case is, funny.

Omar (Riz Ahmed) in real life is a security guard. He's got a hottie wife, Sophia (Preeya Kalidas) and a fine young son being trained to follow dad's real business -- terror. Omar leads the band of idiots with Barry (Nigel Lindsay) as ideological front man and rival for leadership Each time they select a target upon which to unleash their terroristic what-have-you, either someone gets busted by the authorities or killed or something goes wrong. Explosively so. When Omar and Waj (Kayvan Novak) go to Pakistan for additional terrorist training, they don't last a day.

Omar uses Disney's The Lion King as a terrorist teaching tool for his young son -- Simba the terrorist dontcha know... He also believes that "Islam is cracking up. We let women talk back! People are playing stringed instruments!" and while in Pakistan, Omar "borrows" a RPG and tries to shoot down a drone, thus setting up the best joke in the film. You have to wait until the end credits for the gag to drop, though.

As for Barry, everything bad in the world is caused by some kind of Jewish conspiracy. We (Cranky being Jewish) apparently make bad spark plugs. Deliberately. Just to mess up his life. [so there, hah!] While heading into the country, loaded with bombs and bomb making stuff, Barry's car breaks down. The boys split up and, when Waj jumps over a wall and meets a sheep. Working out the kinks in a cell phone trigger sends another wannabee to 72 virgins heaven

The 4 "lions" that are left decide to trigger individual suicide bombs amidst the masses running the London Marathon. All four bombs will go off. At least three times it's as funny as it is pathetic. The best is an interaction between Barry and Omar, which involves the Heimlich maneuver and . . . we've said too much]

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to 4 Lions, he would have paid . . .


4 Lions is what it is. Pretty funny, despite the circumstances.

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.