Following a series of films featuring heavy subject matter and spanning a variety of genres, director Ben Wheatley turns his attention to an entirely different beast: a high concept 70s set action comedy, with the Martin Scorsese produced Free Fire.
So, is it any good?Free Fire is a blast in every sense of the word; a fun premise executed to near perfection that’s funny, violent and surprising from start to finish. It’s Wheatley’s most accessible film to date, and it may just be his best.
“The rapid fire quips the characters yell while take pot shots at one another are almost as brutal as the bullet wounds”
The premise is simple: several crime factions meet in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in 1978 Brooklyn, one gang to show off their weapons, the other to purchase said wears. As you can guess from the title, the deal doesn’t exactly go to plan, and bullets begin to fly. The build up to who fires the first shot takes up roughly the first fifteen minutes of the film, and from that point on the group scatter like rats and find the nearest object to hide behind, as alliances are tested, and yes, shots are fired.The brilliance of Wheatley’s film is that the action is so carefully paced and so elaborately staged (the director used Minecraft to help plot his characters movements) that we never tire of what essentially boils down to people shooting each other in a confined space for eighty minutes. The rapid-fire quips the characters yell while taking pot shots at one another are almost as brutal as the bullet wounds.
The cast are uniformly excellent, with a mixture of talent from both sides of the Atlantic, but Sharlto Copley and Cillian Murphy are the obvious stand outs, they’re dislike for one another made obvious from the outset. Its also great to see Brie Larson displaying a lot more depth than we saw from her character in Kong, and Armie Hammer is finally given material worthy of his undeniable talent.Free Fire is the kind of movie you’ll want to see with as many mates as possible. Director Ben Weatley deserves more credit than the “2017 Reservoir Dogs” tag would have you believe; and although it may be some peoples first foray into Weatley World, after this fun filled eighty minutes, I suspect it won’t be their last.
Free Fire blasts its way into Aussie cinemas on April 27