Free Fire (2017)
A24 and Lionsgate Films
Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor
In a post Reservoir Dogs world, I tend to be wary of any crime movie that begins with a catchy 70’s tune and liberal use of the “F” word during the first lines of dialogue While both of those things are in full display in the first few minutes of Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, the movie itself is able to find a way to be thoroughly entertaining.
Wheatley has assembled an all-star cast for this crime caper that takes place in a single location in one night, practically in real time. The movie, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and co-written by Wheatley, begins with the first group of criminals, a group of IRA gun buyers led by Chris (Cillian Murphy) as they are met outside a warehouse in 1970’s Boston by black market broker Justine (Brie Larson) and smooth talking middle man Ord (Armie Hammer).
Chris and his crew follow Ord into the warehouse where they meet slick South African gunrunner Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his crew. The first bit of conflict that threatens to blow up the entire deal is one that is innocuous. The second conflict, one which is a lot more personal leads to an epic shoot out where everyone, at some point, ends up taking a bullet.
What works in this film is the performances. Everyone in the film exudes cool. I enjoyed their interactions and most of the conflicts. Many of the insults seemed a little forced, but overall it worked. The action was top notch with some great visceral moments. I really enjoyed the surprise moments and the chase throughout the warehouse each character is on when the only phone in the place starts to ring.
Free Fire is a fun film with some really great performances that I recommend to anyone that enjoys action thrillers that don’t take themselves too seriously but retain a visceral, raw quality that engages viewers.
Free Fire is now available on Blu-Ray/ DVD