Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Free Fire

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Set in Boston in 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

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Cast

Armie Hammer – Ord

Sharlto Copley – Vernon

Brie Larson – Justine

Cillian Murphy – Chris

Jack Reynor – Harry

Babou Ceesay – Martin

Enzo Cilenti – Bernie

Sam Riley – Stevo

Michael Smiley – Frank

Noah Taylor – Gordon

 

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Surprise Shot

As Free Fire began, I couldn’t help but feel instantly engaged.
This movie opens with a satellite view of a Boston highway as a vehicle speeds along it, to a backdrop of booming, funky music. The viewer is immediately pulled into the action with this funky introduction, it creates a good vibe. And then the first scene begins involving a few people hanging around a dark parking lot. This bit was slightly dull, but I kept watching because I knew what was coming. And that was my main enjoyment; knowing the carnage about to unfold..

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What Went Right

Free Fire tops the list as one of the most bizarre ideas for a movie I’ve seen in the last few years. The idea of a group of arms dealers meeting and being plunged into total shoot-em-up carnage – surprisingly – works. This movie is almost like a fairground game televised; one of those pop-up stands where you’re given a gun and have to navigate around a barn or something, and hit the moving targets. Weird – but it works.

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Fortunately for viewers the tempers flare immediately due to a misunderstanding which means the angry action commences within minutes. This is definitely a good thing too, any more slow parking lot-style banter and I probably would’ve walked. Apart from that:
the loud music ends,
characters are introduced,
the gunfire begins.
Good stuff.

Free Fire incorporates a whole load of emotions: humour, rage, success, pain, hope, fear. The movie churns all these together to create a relationship rollercoaster as each character becomes divided from everyone else in the warehouse. Close relationships are torn apart also when a particular pair are so pissed that they decide it’s now every man for himself. Dark humour seeps through here, with some tragically funny banter being exchanged. Ever witnessed a situation that is so strange it’s actually quite funny?
Welcome to Free Fire.

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Larson adds a nice zest to the movie. If this had been an all-male cast it probably wouldn’t have been as effective. But the woman brings a character to the screen so smart and sultry that when she later gets ‘popped’, it makes a bizarre picture to see her dragging her bloody, wounded butt across the warehouse floor. And with a naturally sarcastic look about her, she fits in perfectly.

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The final few seconds of Free Fire make for an entertaining watch. The entire scenario comes to an explosive (surprisingly) conclusion, with just one person remaining. And it is this person who finds themself in an even tighter situation than the shoot-us-up pandamonium which has just taken place! What happens clearly didn’t cross this character’s mind, and is probably the most ideal ending the movie could have.

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What Went Wrong

Well, it’s a load of shit really isn’t it? A room full of people gunning each other down for no other reason than sheer anger, spite. Free Fire did evoke one reaction from me as I walked out of the screen shaking my head.. “that was alright”.
I have to be honest, although the movie may gain cult status it just doesn’t cut it when it comes to the thrill factor.

Free Fire had the potential to be breathtaking, I.E. moments of constant gunshots or bullets whipping through the air (I’ve seen films like this before that stun me by how lethal they are), but it’s more of a slow shoot-em-up with momentary pauses so that the characters can crawl around exchanging banter between themselves.
I wanted adrenaline, not Ord (Hammer) sat up against a wooden crate lighting a cigarette and JOL-ing (joking out loud). Yes, the banter is important. But this was a bit too much and slowed the movie down.

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Give this movie a shot (ha! Had to). But don’t expect something Oscar-worthy, because ultimately this is every aggressive guy’s paradise – people running around gunning each other down almost for the hell of it, and contains very little in terms of story. It’s simply – shoot everyone else to get out of the warehouse.
Free Fire is missing something on the tensity scale – mainly one or two moments where the violence is so continuous that it’s almost breathtaking and adrenaline-stirring. Had it contained just one moment such as this, it would have scored higher with me.
This movie is a cult-like production with a great opening intro, it’s just the rest of it that’s debatable.

Boyfriend or husband getting on your tits? Hand him a copy of Free Fire and send him into the next room for an hour or so. It should keep him entertained, get his testosterone pumping. Boys will be boys after all.

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This entry was posted on May 15, 2017 by .
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