Free Fire

"Very Good"

Free Fire Review


Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (High-Rise) is using a group of wildly offbeat characters to play a hilarious riff on Tarantino-style dialogue and violence. So while there's not much to it, the actors have plenty of grist to bring their roles to life. Which makes the film funny and intense all the way through, even if there's no emotional connection at all.

The entire film is set in a warehouse in 1978 Boston, where Justine (Brie Larson), Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) have gone with their drivers Stevo and Bernie (Jack Reynor and Enzo Cilenti) to buy a cache of guns from the swaggering Ord (Armie Hammer) and his mercurial arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley), who has brought ex-Black Panther Martin (Babou Ceesay) as some muscle, plus bickering drivers Harry and Gordon (Jack Reynor and Noah Taylor). All of them greet each other tensely, but they make the deal with a bit of offhanded banter and wary respect. But just as they're all getting ready to leave, Stevo and Harry spot each other. And both are still feeling wounded after the nasty encounter they had last night.

What follows is an explosion of utterly pointless violence. All of these people are nervous and trigger-happy, so it doesn't take much to set them off. The carnage that follows isn't like most movies, because people don't get shot and just lie on the ground; they crawl off injured, regroup and rejoin the fray. Alliances shift, and every moment of panic leads to even more chaos. And right in the middle, there's a bag of cash and a crate of rifles that everyone has an eye on. Wheatley stages this in real-time, with a steady flow of jaggedly witty conversation between the gunshots and constant sight-gags in the action mayhem.

Very quickly, Larson emerges as the most level-headed person in the room. The men, by contrast, are either over-confident, stupid or both. The scene-stealer is Copley, who fills his moments with preening prattle. What's most impressive is how Wheatley keeps everything coherent, following each character's desperate attempt to escape with his or her life. Aside from the obvious symbolism (a world intent on mutual destruction), the film is too loose and random to resonate very much. The audience never really cares who will live or die. But watching these terrific actors circle around each other for 90 minutes is surprisingly entertaining.

Watch the trailer for Free Fire:



Free Fire

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st April 2017

Distributed by: A24 Films

Production compaines: Film4, Rook Films, Protagonist Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Andrew Starke

Starring: as Chris, as Justine, as Ord, as Harry, as Frank, as Vernon, as Gordon, as Stevo, as Bernie, Tom Davis as Martin, Babou Ceesay as Telephone Sales (voice)

Also starring:

Contactmusic


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