Stevo (Sam Riley) and Bernie (Enzo Cilenti) are driving to meet two IRA members, Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley). On the way, Stevo tells Bernie that he was beaten up the previous day by the cousin of a woman he abused. The group meet outside a Boston warehouse, where they wait with intermediary Justine (Brie Larson). A representative arrives, Ord (Armie Hammer), who leads them inside. The group is there to buy guns from arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and his associates, Martin (Babou Ceesay), Harry (Jack Reynor) and Gordon (Noah Taylor). Despite tensions between the two groups and the fact that Vernon supplied the wrong weapons, Chris' group secure the weapons in a van and hand over the money in a briefcase..
Free Fire is unfortunately Ben Wheatley's first misfire. Whilst the film isn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination, it does have a-lot of issues. Firstly the overall concept is an interesting idea. A 90 minute shoot-out in a single location sounds like a great idea. And for the first 30-40 minutes the film was highly entertaining. But when a character asks another "how long has it been" you know the film is starting to wear thin.
The film is loaded with an extremely talented cast featuring Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Michael Smiley. They all give boisterous, lively performances but their characters are paper thin. For the type of film this is I didn't need any character background, but a little bit of development and growth would've given the film a little more direction.
One of the biggest issues I had with the film was that it meandered for the majority of the second half. This caused me to lose interest in the film as the overall intensity dropped. Another issue I had was the tone of the film, whilst it does have some good moments of levity, the film played itself far too straight. Going in I has expecting and action film with plenty of moments of dark humour, but that was few and far between. And a-lot of the jokes didn't land for me.
Free Fire was an over-all disappointment made even more-so by the fact I'm a huge fan of Ben Wheatley. In the end Free Fire was an interesting experiment that seemed better in concept rather than in its execution.
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