Blame Four Lions: UK comedian Chris Morris’ 2010 terrorism comedy set out the template that Down Under – set the day after the Cronulla riots follows to a T.
But where Morris weaved actual comedy and insights into what motivates home-grown terrorists in his look at a bunch of idiots caught up in hate they don’t understand, writer / director Abe Forsythe leans heavily on the humour of rival packs of sweary dickheads hooning around while ironic soundtrack selections play.
To be fair, while Forsythe makes zero effort to explain the social pressures behind the riots, there’s probably not all that much to explain. Instead, we get two groups of four guys of varying levels of stupidity – one Middle Eastern, one Anglo – driving around aimlessly the night after the riots in an attempt to exert their right to be there.
Fans of comedy swearing will find much to enjoy here, but Forsythe’s episodic structure (at times it feels like a collection of sketches where the comedy comes from the way the supposedly different groups act exactly the same) means while some jokes land, as a whole the film never builds to much of anything. It’s a solid film on a topic worth exploring; it’s just not all that funny.
Reviewed by Anthony Morris