Free Fire movie review
I didn’t know what to expect from Free Fire to be honest. Ben Wheatley’s last project (High Rise) was really weird and I felt it was really experimental but didn’t really gel well as a movie due to a lack of a clear narrative. But I felt like there was something within High Rise, even though its 2nd act really dragged and it was a boring film, so I was willing to give Free Fire a chance. With stars like Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Cillian Murphy in lead roles, Free Fire had a lot of hot talent involved. I wondered whether this would be Reservoir Dogs for a new generation, or just a movie that had bigger dreams than it could satisfy. I think after watching the movie it’s neither of the above.
Free Fire is about an arms deal that quickly turns into a shootout. This movie pretty much takes place in one location (the warehouse where the arms deal takes place), but I feel that didn’t hinder the film. The one setting was really good and it helped to increase the tension at some points. Also it was a lot of fun to see the shootout take place in quite a confined space. However like most one location movies, it really relied on its script, and I have to say Ben Wheatley wrote an awesome script. It was very witty at times and all the characters are well written. That’s sadly a rarity in films these days. It kept me engaged and I was interested in what was happening to all the characters and what their plans were. The one liners are great and I can see this movie becoming a bit of a cult classic in the near future.
Also I thought the acting was pretty great too. The standouts in my opinion were Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer,and Brie Larson, but there was a lot of other great actors too. Sharlto Copley was my favorite as Vernon (a South African arms dealer). He had some of the best lines and was hilarious. He was electric in the role and was the standout in the movie. He grabbed my attention whenever he was on-screen, and was a very interesting character. Brie Larson was also very good as Justine (sort of a middle man who facilitates the deal and then when the guns start shooting she’s a real badass looking out for number one). She has quite a bit of attitude and shows how badass she really is. After seeing this, I’m very excited to see her in the role of Captain Marvel. I think she’s going to smash it if she gives a performance like this again. Armie Hammer is also fantastic as Ord (another middleman with a fondness of pot). He is subtler with the humour but he is great in the role. Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, and Michael Smiley are all fantastic as well. I don’t think this film had a bad actor in it. It was really good.
The directing and music choices are very good too. However this film is basically just a shoot it up movie so if you’re looking for something deep or metaphorical, this movie isn’t it. Also there’s a little bit within the 2nd act where the shooting is a bit slow and the film drags out a little. However the rest of the film is really fun and action-packed, that it’s not a major problem.
Overall, Free Fire is a really fun action film with great writing, acting, and directing. It’s a one location story that doesn’t feel forced to be that way due to budget constraints. I’ve got a feeling this movie is going to be a cult classic, but I don’t think it’s the next Reservoir Dogs. It’s the best Ben Wheatley film I’ve seen (but I’ve only seen High Rise and Free Fire), and it gets me very excited for Captain Marvel.
Overall I’d give this movie a 4.5/5 . It’s a fantastic original movie and I’d definitely recommend it if you like action films or are just a bit curious about it. Even if you’ve seen Ben Wheatley films in the past and haven’t been much of a fan, try this movie. You might just be pleasantly surprised!
Chelsea Baines covers Entertainment for MFST, you can follow her on Twitter @ChelseaBaines
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