Somewhere, deep in London, radicalised British Muslim, Omar (Riz Ahmed), is part of a terrorist organisation that is trying to start its war with the west. Also in the group is Omar's brother, Waj (Kayvan Novak), angry white convert, Barry (Nigel Lindsay), and nervous Faisal (Adeel Akhtar). When Omar's uncle tells Omar and Waj to come to Pakistan for training, they jump on the opportunity, leaving Barry in charge. Omar and Waj, within seconds of stepping on to the training base, begin screwing up. Before they know it, they're back home to find Barry has roped in a new boy, Hassan (Arsher Ali), when 'hiding in plain sight'. Deciding to keep Hassan, Omar begins to lay out plans for their big Jihad. Their are plenty of arguments between the group, Barry in particular wishes to bomb a Mosque in order to encourage an uprising, but forgets that this only works if he doesn't take credit for the attack, which he wants to do. Faisal wants to attach bombs to crows and fly them into shops and places of political importance. Hassan is more of a rapper than a terrorist and Waj just wants to go to Alton Towers. Overall, they're a bunch of idiots.
|How many other films contain The Honey Monster arguing with a man on an ostrich |
while an upside down clown watches on and a ninja turtle hitting his head on a van?
|Real men never pay attention to the instructions.|
It would be pushing it to say that Christopher Morris was a genius. He is obviously very talented at handling a tricky subject matter. Obviously people will be offended and obviously there will be controversy. That being said, people found a way to make controversy over most Disney princess films so really, controversy is nothing. The script is by far the best thing about this movie. It's fast, it's witty, but best of all, it's experimental. Can we get away with that, can we get away with this? It all combines into a beautifully dark piece of film. Not to say it's anywhere near perfect though. At times - especially the beginning - it seems slow. Once it picks off, it's fine, but it needs more of a push at the start. And I promise you, I do not want to see a long zoom across London onto one house ever again. That shot was recycled more times than needed and, in my humble opinion, made the film lose pace and seem disjointed.
It's a funny movie. It is a borderline offensive movie. It is a contemporary satire. It is the sort of thing that we should see more often, especially because Benedict Cumberbatch is in it. It pushes taboo boundaries and questions serious issues. It doesn't poke fun at religion or the act of terrorism. It pokes fun at stupid people doing something that requires high intelligence. It's very British in it's humour taste but can still be well received anywhere. It seems obvious, but if you think you'll find a comedy about terrorism offensive, don't watch it. Rather than watch it and then complain. I think it's tastefully handled. It's a damn good satire.
SPOILER ALERT FOR BEST BIT. READ ON AT OWN PERIL.
Best Bit? Hussan, Barry, and Faisal's ends. Dark comedy at its finest.