Film Review: Free Fire

Posted in Featured Stories, Reviews, Top Stories by - April 24, 2017
Film Review: Free Fire

Free Fire is directed by Ben Wheatley and stars Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, and Cillian Murphy in what I can only describe as one of the most delightfully funny and clever comedies I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing thus far. With sharp writing, a star-studded cast, and a style that’s fresh and inspired, Free Fire gives us a true modern classic.

What is so appealing about this movie for me is the scope. It’s a simple, self-contained story; Two gangs meet up to buy and sell weapons, shots are fired, and it’s kill or be killed. Director and screenwriter Ben Wheatley appears to draw a lot of inspiration from classic crime flicks such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, while also maintaining a consistent flow of comedy. Having said that, I want to make something clear; this isn’t your typical Hollywood comedy. The comedy isn’t gut-busting but it kept the audience chuckling the whole way through; reminiscent of an “R” rated episode of The Office.

Where Free Fire really sets itself apart is its cast of characters and how believably funny they are in, what would normally be a terrifyingly dangerous situation. As I said before, Sharlto Copley knocks it out of the park as Vernon, an obnoxious arms dealer. Everything that comes out of his mouth is immediately quotable and had the entire audience in stitches. Armie Hammer also delivers a great performance here as Ord, the muscle behind Vernon’s operation. His quick witted remarks and calm demeanor are sure to create a fanbase for his character alone. The only performance that I can find a problem with is Brie Larson’s. Not because it was subpar or lacked realism, it just felt like a waste of such talent. Larson doesn’t really do anything with performance to stand out and I feel like this role could have honestly been given to any female actress.

Lastly, I love the style of this picture. One can really tell that Director Ben Wheatley really took his time and poured himself into the cinematography of this movie as it feels very stylized and intimate. On multiple occasions, Wheatley cleverly mounts the camera on an object and gets some really interesting, and at times downright funny shots. For example, at a certain point, our characters accidently shoot some gas tanks causing them to fly around all over the place and creating a panic as everyone avoids colliding with them, creating what is truly one of the funniest parts of the movie as these tanks chaotically crashing into objects and people.

Free Fire is not your typical Hollywood comedy. You won’t be rolling on the floor laughing, but I can guarantee you that at no time will a smile disappear from your face. I urge anyone who is reading this and is a fan of quality filmmaking to go out and watch this movie in theaters. Directors like Ben Wheatley are in short supply and deserve your time and attention. At the end of the day, if I had to boil down my thoughts of Free Fire into one word, it would be “delightful”.

Official Trailer: 

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