Monday, May 15, 2017

Free Fire Review

'Fuck the small talk. Let's buy some guns, eh?'

It's 1978. In an abandoned warehouse in Boston, Irishmen Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) meet with go-between Justine (Brie Larson) for a meeting with a gang selling them crates full of guns. When the mood sours, shots get fired and a shootout frenzy of epic proportions ensues.

The premise is simple yet effective, and the rapid-fire dialogue coupled with excellent performances from the ensemble cast make for a wild ride. Maybe that's what makes Free Fire such satisfying viewing. The plot is straightforward and there's no nonsense, just good humour and great performances. Plain and simple.

Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson and Armie Hammer's performances, in particular, stand out with their wise-cracking back and forth dialogue pulling all the right punches. This coupled with the compelling action and an amazingly compiled 70's soundtrack, courtesy of Portishead duo Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, Ben Wheatley's Free Fire makes for a winning combination of nostalgia, humour, and spirited shootout action.

Though it's good fun, Free Fire is still pretty one-dimensional. What you see is what you get, and you're not exactly going to leave the cinema thinking too deeply about it. Nor will you find yourself empathising with any of the characters, because they're all wildly self-serving and cartoonishly deplorable in their own ways.

However, it's easy to forgive when the characterisation and dialogue are just so damn good. Quick and compact with its modest 90-minute running time, Free Fire doesn't waste any time and packs every second with palpable tension. Exhilarating and over the top, you won't be turned off by this bloody affair.