Movie review: Four Lions

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"Four Lions" is, hands-down, the funniest movie about terrorism I've seen all year.

The black comedy shows that laughter can be a great way to disarm fear, a bit like "Dr. Strangelove" getting laughs from global nuclear war in the height of the Cold War.

"Lions" follows four inept British jihadists with delusions of grandeur (and martyrdom). They bumble their way to a terror training camp, fumble through filming terror videos and grumble incessantly over who is more dedicated to the cause.

Admittedly, some people might find the very concept of this film appalling. I'm sure there would be mock outrage on Fox News if it got a wide release.

I'm of the opinion that anything can be a laughing matter if it's done right. And it is here, with the dark topic balanced by almost slapstick comedy.

The humor is exceptionally British, in the vein of Ricky Gervais or perhaps "Shaun of the Dead." It's down my alley but isn't for everyone.

While "Lions" is quite funny, it's shy of brilliant - last year's Iraq war comedy of errors "In the Loop" was a better satire.

But if you're looking for the lighter side of jihad, it's definitely worth a look.

Four Lions

Opens Friday at Gateway Film Center

3 stars out of 4