Saturday, June 3, 2017

Free Fire (2016)

Director: Ben Wheatley
Writers: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
DOP: Laurie Rose
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Michael Smiley

Set in Boston in 1978, meeting in an abandoned warehouse for an arms deal turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

The guys who are on the buy side is the IRA (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley etc) and the sellers consist of a South African guy (Sharlto Copley), Armie Hammer etc with Brie Larson playing the role of a middle-woman. So the country and accent differences itself quite obviously become source of much of the humor in it. People have compared it to Reservoir Dogs with both having claustrophobic settings where tempers gets frayed but unlike Reservoir Dogs, there is no back-story or flashbacks and the balance between humor and intrigue is heavily loaded in favor of the former. Free Fire was shot in sequence and they have supposedly taken great care in giving full justice to the deterioration of location due to all the firing and being true to the spatial separation between the characters. If you are pedantic enough to notice those things, I guess you will be impressed. Overall I found it to be a very good watch but you kind of loses your interest towards the end which I think was a risk that they knowingly took by not choosing to flesh out any of its characters. It will remind you of Martin McDonagh films but it is more 'Seven Psychopaths' than 'In Bruges' and the settings change to America (film was shot in Brighton mind) obviously brings down the humor quotient. You will be a little disappointed if you come into it with the high expectations of a Ben Wheatley film but it is still very good. Their next project, Freak Shift, looks very interesting.

Ben Wheatley-Amy Jump duo is not so far known for doing out and out comedies and have been very good at making films that are quite different from each other. Kill-List and A Field in England are my favorite films of theirs. Michael Smiley is a constant fixture in their films. Free-Fire is so far their most mainstream of films yet and Martin Scorsese was also on board as an executive producer. It didn't do smashingly well at box office but who cares anyway.

Rating: 3.5/5