Free Fire (2017)
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Noah Taylor, Michael Smiley
Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Written by: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr 30 min.
Free Fire belongs in the same movie bin with films like Reservoir Dogs and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It’s a gritty, fun, actioner, loaded with an eclectic mix of reprehensible characters, who over a period of ninety minutes, fight for guns and money. And while Free Fire doesn’t deliver dialogue movie geeks will be quoting for the next thirty years, it’s still worth a look.
Perfunctory dialogue aside (though the line containing ‘reluctant panda’ floored me), this film gets two critical things right. One, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, it’s only 90 minutes long, and two, the entire piece is a lot of fun. The script explores just about everything it can within the premise, and everything is delivered in an authentic way. There’s no overblown histrionics, and while the action does escalate, it does so using everything the characters brought with them, and stuff you’d find in an empty warehouse. There’s no sudden discovery of a ticking time bomb, or a contrived third-party showing up with a big enough weapon to blast us through the last act of the story.
Free Fire is simply douchebags with guns trapped in a confined space. You’re not likely to root for anyone but that’s okay. The people invited to this party are deplorable, so the fun is in watching them try to screw each other over.
If you enjoyed movies like Reservoir Dogs and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, you are probably going to enjoy this. Expect graphic R rated violence.
Armie Hammer delivers a great performance as the deal mediator, Ord.