When we think of terrorists, we mostly think of scary, angry Middle Eastern men declaring their murderous intentions in suicide videos or, if we're unlucky, captured in blurry images from security cameras as authorities attempt to piece together their movements after the fact. With the steely resolve that only comes from the fanatical, religious or brainwashed, these would-be martyrs are men to be feared and taken extremely seriously. Nearly a decade after 9/11, with increasingly intrusive searches in our nation's airports necessary to ensure our safety, terrorism is no laughing matter.
Unless, of course, you think about the comedy inherent in men trying unsuccessfully to light their shoes or underwear on fire. Even if success would've meant the possible deaths of hundreds of people, it's hard not to laugh. That's what Chris Morris, director of the terrorism comedy Four Lions, thought when he read an article about terrorists whose boat full of explosives sank before it could reach the American warship they were targeting. That's when Morris, a Brit who had become notorious for creating a TV special lampooning England's obsession with pedophiles, realized that the internal dynamics of a terrorist cell would probably be like that of any small group, whether it be a band, a sports team, or a workplace. So Morris set out to tell the story of five bumbling jihadis in an English suburb as they attempt to fight back against Western oppression, if only they could agree on a plan, a leader, and overcome their greatest obstacle -- their own stupidity. Think of an episode of the Office where the gang at Dunder-Mifflin was trying to blow up Scranton.
Hear my ReThink Review of Four Lions for Pacifica Radio's Uprising Show by clicking on the image below.
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