MOVIE REVIEW: The Muslims Are Coming!

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Movie: The Muslims Are Coming!
Director: Negin Farsad, Dean Obeidallah
Studio: Vaguely Qualified Productions

Everyone in the country (and probably the entire world) is aware that twelve years ago a terrible tragedy struck this nation. This event changed the way we would live our lives in America for decades and this travesty against humanity will be forever etched in time as one of the worst non-natural disasters of all time. No, not the Planet Of The Apes remake, I’m talking about 9/11, the incident so sinister we know it by it’s date. Since then our country has fallen ill at ease whenever we see a person of middle eastern decent. A group of comedians set out on a free tour in rural America to try and change that perception and The Muslims Are Coming! is their story.  

The Muslims Are Coming! is a “docu-comedy” that stars a group of middle eastern comedians (led by Negin Farsad) as they head to southern and midwestern cities to do a free show of comedy to try to introduce Muslims to people who may have never encountered one before in their life. They set up booths outside like “Ask A Muslim A Question” and “Hug A Muslim” during the day to promote their shows. They also travel to places like gun shops to talk to people about their perceptions of Muslims. This is broken up with interviews from various sources ranging from other comedians to national news correspondents.

Right out of the gate this film is funny. A lot of the comedians have some very clever jokes dealing with racism and Muslim culture, but they also do plenty of comedy that has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. There are more than a few moments that will make you laugh out loud including a religious text quoting trivia game that no one seemed to win. The way they manage to make semi-taboo subjects funny is a great reason to see this movie.

That being said the switch from comedy to seriousness can be more than a little jarring at times. One minute you are laughing at a semi-racist joke then you get hit with a “this is serious” moment and you feel awful for laughing a minute ago. A better transition from one tone to the other would have made this film a lot less clunky. My only other complaint was that there was a lot of content that seemed a bit out of place or unnecessary. One of the comedians cannot find Snapple at a few gas stations and that made up a side plot of the movie. I would have loved to see more of the standup acts and less filler like that.

It may be an issue that most people in diverse parts of the country are more accepting and tolerant but there is no doubt that the country still has an anti-Muslim leaning due to fringe right-wingers and biased news pundits. Exposing people to Muslims through comedy is a great step in the right direction to educate people that might not have a chance to learn about a new culture otherwise and this documentary/comedy proves it in spades. However, mixing such a serious subject with such a lighthearted take can feel very disjointed at times which is the only real thing keeping The Muslims Are Coming! from being more than a mediocre comedy film and an even more mediocre documentary.

Score: C

Review written by: Justin Proper

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