“Free Fire” stars Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, and Jack Reynor. Released in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2017 and in the United States on April 21, 2017, the film is about an arms deal that went horrifically wrong, forcing two groups of people into a heart-pounding game of survival.
The film is directed by Ben Wheatley, who also directed films such as Down Terrace, Kill List, and High-Rise. The last two weekends of April are officially known as the calm before the storm. Meaning that we only got to wait two more weeks until the summer movie season starts. In the meantime, let’s check out some of the small films that will be releasing on those weekends, shall we? The first film I’ll be looking at this weekend is something that most of you aren’t very familiar with. I’ve seen the trailer for this a few times already, and I’m still not sure what to think of this concept. I mean, do people really want to pay money to watch Brie Larson and the gang try to shoot each other in a warehouse? Well, lucky for me, my theater managed to acquire that film, along with this weekend’s other new releases that I may or may not review later on, so I guess I’ll be one of those people that will be able to answer that question.
For starters, the film’s story was pretty simple and to the point. In fact, this is pretty much what I expected it to be based on the trailer alone. A basic shoot-em-up that consists of bullets flying and people cursing at one another. Unfortunately, that’s all they ever did in this 90-minute shooting fest, and for those who wanted something more than that, it can get tiring really quickly by the time the third act starts. Despite being a bit entertaining, the action sequences wound up hogging the spotlight instead of sharing it with the characters. However, there were a few things that I happen to like, such as the cast. Even though the characters are just people who have “Shoot Me” signs on their backs, director Ben Wheatley did his part in making sure that the actors put on one heck of a show, and they managed to pass with flying colors, or in this case, flying bullets (Haaaaa…..). There were also a couple of moments that were pretty amusing, but the rest of the comedic moments didn’t really stick to me that much. Wheatley’s direction definitely had its perks and the film’s score was a nice little treat.
Overall, watching “Free Fire” is like watching a bunch of paranoid, foul-mouthed grown-ups play Call of Duty. It’s amusing at some points, but later on, it makes me want to see these people kiss and make up and move on with their lives. While it does have a talented cast and Wheatley’s unique sense of direction, they’re not enough to cover up its tiresome action sequences, uncaring characters, and some of its flat comedic moments. Maybe it’s the fact that I still got The Fate of the Furious stuck in my brain or maybe I was expecting it to have a few surprises that’ll make it a bit more exciting. Probably both. If you don’t really care about the characters and just want to watch them shoot each other in the legs or in the heads, this might be for you. Otherwise, this is something that’s worth watching at home. It definitely delivered what I expected it to be, but for everybody else who wanted strong characters to go along with the action, this film missed its mark by that much.