• Guy Jeffries

Free Fire Review


Director: Ben Wheatley

Starring: Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor, Noah Taylor, Patrick Bergin, Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Babou Ceesay.

Take a medium size warehouse in 1978 Boston, throw in a bunch of egotistical, same-time arm-dealers with some stupid lackeys and a handful of double-crosses and we get a funny, masterful shoot-em up from Ben Wheatley, who co-wrote and directs.

Wheatley currently better known for the odd, Sightseers and last year's surreal, High-Rise. Both films I'm not really a fan of but nonetheless, can recognise and appreciate his writing and directing skill. Wheatley brings gamer has stated that games like Counter Strike were a heavy influence and it shows, he also built a scale model of the set in the virtual world of Minecraft, a practise I can see some gamer/directors adopting. If fact, this is a great example of the set itself being an integral part of the film, like a character in itself, as we never see the light of day it's all about what happens in there during the 90minute gun deal.

The characters stroll into the story, with little, of any introduction, allowing the audience to try figure out who's who and what which doesn't take long and is a delight to watch whilst discovery the characters by them interacting with each other, each with their own similarities and individualities, it sets the tension for what's about to go down.

The casting is great, even with the last minute changes of Larson taking Olivia Wilde's role and Copley replacing Luke Evans role of the obnoxious, cowardly and often annoying Vernon. I'm glad Evans dropped out to play Beauty and the Beast's Gaston. Hammer, Murphy, Larson and the others are all brilliant. It's like all the crazy characters from a Tarantino, Ritchie or Scorsese (who also produces this picture) movie locked in the same warehouse together and forced to play paintball to the death, and you can't really be sure which side you want to be on.

We all have that one friend who's considered a liability, the one person who is likely to ruin the night by instigating a brawl or doing something stupid that puts everyone in jeopardy. But you still stick by them because, well, he's on your side, he's still one of yours regardless of fault or consequence. And this is what takes the arms deal ultimately south, bringing everyone to ankle level in a bullet fest of violent, enough gory and sometimes hilarious fashion. Even though it's essential a prolonged version of the trailer and with a basic premise of last man standing, it's incredibly entertaining, crisp, and superbly executed.

This is one of those films that's going to be well remembered, placing Wheatley's name among other greats like Tarantino, Ritchie and Scorsese; and no, I'm not comparing any of their films to this. I'm simply stating that this film is going to be Wheatley's Pulp Fiction, Lock, Stock and Goodfellas. Mention the name Ben Wheatley and I'm sure in a few years time it won't it High-Rise or Sightseers that gets mentioned but this, "oh, the guy that directed Free Fire?" It's definitely my favourite film of his by a long way.

Running Time: 10

The Cast: 9

Performance: 9

Direction: 8

Story: 8

Script: 7

Creativity: 7

Soundtrack: 6

Job Description: 8

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for possibly being Wheatley's trademark movie of guns, fun and great characters to be proud of.

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes.

82% 8/10

#BenWheatley #SharltoCopley #BrieLarson #ArmieHammer #CillianMurphy #JackReynor #NoahTaylor #PatrickBergin #EnzoCilenti #SamRiley #MichaelSmiley #BabouCeesay #MartinScorsese