Free Fire

ho00004379An arms deal gone wrong sets the scene for a shoot out in a disused warehouse in a darkly comic and violent film by Ben Wheatley.

Frank (Michael Smiley) and Chris (Cillian Murphy) are IRA operatives planning to buy guns from Vern (Sharlto Copley) in a deal set up by Justine (Brie Larson) and Ord (Armie Hammer). Unfortunately, hired muscle on each side have had a less than pleasant encounter the night before and events turn for the worse. With a running time of 90 minutes, what we have here is a half hour of set up and an hour of shooting. What makes it so much fun is the darkly funny script and great turns from the small group of 10 actors who seem to be able to make each character interesting.

Copley and Hammer steal the film playing a truly hideous gun runner (I guess it goes with the job description) and a pot smoking narcissist (so cool, he even has time to check his hair in the wing mirror of a car mid-shootout).

There are moments of lethargy when I started to wonder how many bullets were in each gun and where it was going, but every time it started to meander a little too much it snapped back with another whip-smart comic moment.

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4 thoughts on “Free Fire

  1. OK I have to admit it – this is the first Bean Wheatley film I liked. Thinking about why, and I guess it is because he doesn’t elevate his sub-text to text as he does in most of his over rated films. Here it can be enjoyed as a straight forward shoot ’em tale, with a great ensemble cast and a surprisingly witty script. Underneath you can see it as a comment on American gun culture or how the world is made up of people who bluster and try to make phoney deals and where even best intentions fail. Works on almost all levels for me.

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