Free Fire

Every year, there’s some filmmaker who decides that the best idea is the simplest one. For Free Fire, that brilliantly simple concept is this: what if a single firefight was the entire movie?

Fill it to the brim with unique, enjoyable characters and you’ve got a surefire winner.

Irishman Chris (Cillian Murphy) has traveled to America to buy some guns for the IRA back in Ireland. But his henchmen and gun supplier Vernon’s (Sharlto Copley) henchmen have some history. Throw in easily pissed off personalities and soon enough the whole warehouse is shooting at each other.

But plot twist, shooting would have started anyway, because there’s another player involved, and they’ve also brought guns.

What I really like about Free Fire is how seriously they take guns. Even on my home tv, they were loud. Each pistol and rifle had a unique sound that jarred the senses. The filmmakers also took a lot of care in the positioning of actors in the warehouse where the fight goes down. It gets a bit confusing when some characters leave the main space but overall it was well done and cut down on me using brainpower to figure out where everyone was. Watching each character slowly gather more holes, deliver one-liners and eventually die one by one was just pure joy for me. Standouts include Jack Reynor taunting a man he’s already shot several times and Armie Hammer’s cool as ice hitman.

Unfortunately, the “hero” of the story, Justine (Brie Larson), feels like they added her in just to have a woman in the movie without actually writing her in a realistic way. Felt like a waste of Brie Larson.

Also, despite the wonderful gun usage (i.e. people don’t fire off entire magazines at a time) and frequent reloading, characters clearly have way too much ammo. Especially since most of them just have pistols they brought to a place where they didn’t expect to use them.

But you didn’t come here for too much realism. You came to watch people slowly shoot each other to death in a film that certainly doesn’t scream comedy, but is quite hilarious.

3 out of 4 stars.

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