I love Reservoir Dogs, always have. It’s influence on the action genre is immeasurable. Heck, recalling scenes from the 1992 movie is quite common for me. From Mr. Orange’s commode scene to Mr. Blonde’s “Stuck in the Middle With You” scene, Tarantino’s ultra-violent film set the bar high.
Free Fire was born from the same loin as Reservoir Dogs. In the fact, it’s as if director Ben Wheatley lifted the Mexican standoff scene from it. So, if you loved that scene like myself, you’ll be thrilled with Free Fire.
So, what exactly is Free Fire about? The plot is more basic than the back of a Captain Crunch box. Set in the 70’s when corduroy’s and shag carpet Vans where in style, the entire film takes place in an abandoned warehouse. Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley are IRA rebels looking to purchase weapons from arms dealer Armie Hammer and a horde of other colorful characters who serve nothing more than kill inventory. Adding to the IRA lineup is the wonderful Brie Larson who plays an American girl who helped broker the deal. As most movie arms deals go, shit hits the fan fairly fast (about twenty minutes in) and guns start blazing!
I must say, there were many hilarious moments that were a delight to watch. Finding humor in a serious situation is what makes this film work. With all of the lead exploding off legs and walls while failing to hit the target, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud! Maybe director Ben Wheatley is a Star Wars fan too, because I found this evoking Stormtrooper comparisons.
While Armie Hammer’s performance is great, it’s Brie Larson’s witty charm that steals every scene she’s in. Bringing a sense of balance in the face of all the male verbosity is what makes Free Fire work so well. I must point out that cinematographer Laurie Rose also did an amazing job with such a small set piece. His ability to keep all the action clear and visible in light of all the gunplay and confusion was impressive. That’s an attribute many action films seem to be missing.
If you’re a fan of Tarantino movies or action movies in general, Free Fire won’t disappoint. The witty dialogue and over the top gun play explode from the screen in an unforgettable 90-minute thrill ride. I’m not sure this movie will ever be a big hit, but I sense many years from now, it’ll be a cult movie classic. Ben Wheatley is a director to keep an eye on, and maybe one day I’ll ask if you’re a fan of Wheatley movies.
Rating: 4 stars
Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, Free Fire is an electrifying action comedy about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Acclaimed filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) propels the audience head-on into quite possibly the most epic shootout ever seen on film as he crafts a spectacular parody –– and biting critique –– of the insanity of gun violence. Everyone’s got a gun, and absolutely no one is in control.
Set in a colorful yet gritty 1970s Boston, Free Fire opens with Justine (Oscar® winner Brie Larson), a mysterious American businesswoman, and her wise-cracking associate Ord (Armie Hammer) arranging a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse between IRA arms buyer Chris (Cillian Murphy) and shifty South African gun runner Vernon (Sharlto Copley). What starts as a polite if uneasy exchange soon goes south when tensions escalate and shots are fired, quickly leading to a full-on Battle Royale where it’s every man (and woman) for themselves.
Packed with witty one-liners, flamboyant characters and remarkable feats of cinematic gunplay, Free Fire is a full-throttle action extravaganza that keeps things fresh and fun with Wheatley’s alternately buoyant and savage sense of humor. Swinging from the madcap to the macabre and back again, the film is an exhilarating experience that will leave you quite literally blown away.
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor
Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Screenplay: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
If you’re a fan of Tarantino movies or action movies in general, Free Fire won’t disappoint. The witty dialogue and over the top gun play explode from the screen in an unforgettable 90-minute thrill ride. I’m not sure this movie will ever be a big hit, but I sense many years from now, it’ll be a cult movie classic.