“Free Fire” Is A Creative Shoot-Em-Up Style Comedy



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Posted July 21, 2017 by

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Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, Kill List, Sightseers) is no stranger to creating quirky characters that are dropped into extraordinary situations. With his most recent film, “Free Fire”, it’s more of the same from the UK director as he delivers a strong ensemble piece that takes place in one setting: an abandoned warehouse that serves as the meeting place for a gun deal to go down.

Set in Boston in 1978, two gangs are meeting up to exchange money for guns. The meeting gets off to a rocky start when the gun supplier brings the wrong ones and then matters only get worse when a guy from each gang have recently had an explosive fight outside of the whole situation and don’t know the other is present. With tensions already high, it only takes on bullet to be fired before the whole thing goes to hell: and that is the premise for “Free Fire”.

A perfect blend of comedy and action, “Free Fire” was nothing I expected and everything I wanted. It really is a credit to Wheatley’s writing: if even one of these characters would have fallen flat, the entire foundation of the film would have crumbled. Even the shadiest of all of the characters, Vernon (brilliantly portrayed by Sharlto Copley), managed to make me like him despite saying things like, “Watch and Vern.”

Movies like this have been done before, but it’s Wheatley’s ability to make it his own that turns it into something special. I’m not going to lie, when everything started to go down thirty minutes into the film I couldn’t help but wonder, “How’s this going to stay interesting for another hour?” The comedy in the film elevates the action and the action kept me entertained. Like I mentioned, it’s the perfect blend of the two genres as both live harmoniously next to each other without taking away from the other.

I have to give credit to the actors as well, obviously. When a film takes place in one setting, the acting has to be top notch since distracting the audience with much else simply goes out the window. It’s a strong cast that’s led by Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, and Armie Hammer, while getting brilliant supporting roles from people like Michael Smiley, Sam Riley and Babou Ceesay. Everyone brings that extra something to their character that makes them so much more than just what’s on the page and it’s interesting to see what all of their motives are.

Blood, comedy, betrayal, fire, bullets, and John Denver: if there’s anything you think is lacking from this film, I simply suggest you watch it again. “Free Fire” is now available to own and on VOD. If you’re looking for a hidden gem that is guaranteed to entertain, look no further than this movie.




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