Starring: Javier Cámara, Julián López, Miren Ibarguren
Director: Borja Cobeaga
Running Time: 89 mins
Bomb Scared (Fe de etarras) is a Spanish film about a group of four terrorists from the Basque extremist group ETA who plan an attack on a Spanish town, but see their plans frustrated and complicated as they wait for information from headquarters.
Reminiscent of the modern masterpiece that is the darkly hilarious Four Lions, Bomb Scared offers up an enjoyably ludicrous take on the farces of amateur terrorism, with a collection of entertaining performances too. With that said, it lacks the darkness and provocative nature of the likes of Four Lions, meaning that it often comes across as a far simpler affair than should really be the case.
Let’s start off with the positives, the biggest of which is the lighter, sillier comedy. I wouldn’t call this a hilarious movie by any means, but some of the more farcical and ridiculous situations do make for a good laugh or two throughout. Couple that with a quartet of energetic and likable performances, and you have an endearing and enjoyable comedy for the most part.
The film focuses on a group of ETA terrorists, who support independence for the Basque region of Spain, and as such hate all things Spanish. As well as poking fun at the nature of their nationalist movement, the biggest laughs in this movie come from the characters’ reluctant attempts to blend into Spanish society, made all the more difficult as they see their much-hated Spanish football team advancing to the World Cup final, making their attempts to hide their apathy towards Spain all the more comical.
As fun as all that is, however, I can’t say that Bomb Scared is the perfect comedy, and when compared to a film like Four Lions, that takes on a very similar premise in fairly similar style, it really feels like an underwhelming attempt to tackle domestic terrorism in a genuinely clever and memorable way.
The brilliant thing about Four Lions is that, while it’s a ridiculous and stupid comedy, there are real, controversial ideas at play, with an ingeniously dark take on the realities of modern terrorism, woven in with clever humour throughout.
Bomb Scared, on the other hand, feels a lot more detached from reality, with a more light-hearted, slapstick vibe to affairs, something that really takes the bite and controversy out of its discourse and satire on terrorism. As a result, rather than working as a movie about terrorism that uses clever humour, Bomb Scared is more of a run-of-the-mill comedy that just happens to star some incompetent terrorists.
In the end, that means the film is far from as funny or intelligent as its premise sets up, and despite enjoyably silly humour and entertaining performances, Bomb Scared is a bit of an underwhelming watch, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.6 overall.