Free Fire (2016)

Free Fire
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Cast: Enzo CilentiSam RileyMichael SmileyBrie LarsonCillian MurphyArmie HammerSharlto CopleyBabou CeesayNoah TaylorJack Reynor
Seen on: 17.9.2017

Bernie (Enzo Cilento) and his brother Stevo (Sam Riley) are meeting with IRA guys Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) and their American contact Justine (Brie Larson). They are preparing for a weapons deal mediated by Ord (Armie Hammer) who got them in touch with South African arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his group – Martin (Babou Ceesay), Harry (Jack Reynor) and Gordon (Noah Taylor). But things quickly go sideways and turn very bloody.

Free Fire starts off strong enough, but after a while it becomes so repetitive, it loses all tempo and becomes nothing but dreary.

Ben Wheatley and me, we’ll probably never become best friends, cinematically speaking. Free Fire was no exception to that, although it definitely worked better for me than other film of his have. That’s because the film really starts strong. The stellar cast it put together really shines and profit from the idiosyncratic characters they get to portray.

And as long as its those personalities crashing in a setting that is built to ramp up the pressure, the film is really entertaining and gets in quite a few good laughs. But just as I was relaxed and figured that maybe, this will be the film where I really get Wheatley (and vice versa), things turn into a long shoot-out.

And even then, the first bit of the shoot-out was still pretty good. But once the shooting starts, the film just goes in loops of shooting-quick break with smartass talking-shooting. Wash, rinse, repeat. This structure paralyzes the film. It takes out all narrative speed and things become incredibly dull. After the second loop, I was ready to shoot them all myself just because I wanted the film to be over.

Maybe if the film had been only an hour long instead of full feature length it would have felt less boring in the second half, but that second half pretty much ruined the film for me.

Summarizing: Maybe still worth it for the cast and the first half, but don’t expect too much.

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