“Enough with the f**kin small talk, lets buy some guns eh?”, Cillian Murphy’s character Chris says which pretty much sums up “Free Fire”, the new film from Ben Wheatley (High-Rise). This was my first go around with Ben Wheatley so I had no clue what to expect except that I really dug the trailer when I first saw it before Swiss Army Man last year and the cast for this was phenomenal. How does the film live up to this? As an entertaining albeit very thin good time.
Free Fire revolves around two sides of people. the buyers (Cillian Murphy, Bree Larson) and the sellers (Sharlto Copley), both consisting of a few more members then I listed. When a member of each side recognizes one another from an incident, the deal goes south and bullets begin flying. That is the story. Nothing else to it. What makes Free Fire so entertaining isn’t the story but the characters and the way the film is presented. Each character isn’t particularly developed like say Reservoir Dogs which this film looks to be majorly influenced by, but you do get the sense of each ones personality and the cast looks to be having the time of their lives in these roles. The two standouts are definitely Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer, both of which have the most intriguing characters and get the most laughs. Speaking of which, this film was a lot funnier then I expected it to be. There’s a lot of really well written quips and moments that had me chuckling and added to the overall craziness of the film. When the action gets going which is fairly quick, the film becomes one long scene basically and being that it takes place in one location, I was so impressed with Ben Wheatley’s ability to make this film feel so fun with just one warehouse being the location. Quick sidenote: These characters make stormtroopers look like Chris Kyle, even though it makes sense their aim would suck, it was some of the worst aim in movies I’ve ever seen.
This film is by no means perfect however. During the middle of the feel, it does go through a bit of a lull. While I was entertained and invested, I did feel it start to dip but it does pick itself back up. There’s also no real climax. The film just kind of ends and while I didn’t mind, the film really plays out like you’d expect. The film is a hell of a lot of fun but it literally hits the bare minimum of substance, I didn’t mind this as the film was so entertaining, I was just in for the ride but still this could bother some.
While Free Fire isn’t perfect, it still has plenty of laughs and thrills to I think warrant a viewing. I did find myself having a lot of fun and would definitely recommend this. While it might not be a necessity to see in theaters, I do think the sound design makes each bullet whizzing by that much better when seen on the big screen. As a fan of one location movies, I’m glad I checked this one out and think you should to!