Ben Wheatley is no stranger to single-location movies. The acclaimed filmmaker’s previous work saw the drama unfold in a tower block, a field and now an abandoned warehouse in Boston.
A couple of hours of staring at the same few walls can send an audience stir-crazy, whilst other times it works perfectly. This time around it’s the latter.
In what feels like a modern day Reservoir Dogs, this gritty flick set in the 70s tells the story of an arms deal that goes spectacularly and brutally wrong.
At the start, we see Justine (Oscar winner, Brie Larson), who acts as a go-between for a pair of Irishmen, Frank (Michael Smiley) and Chris (Cillian Murphy), and a pair of gun dealers, the eccentric Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and the wisecracking stoner, Ord (Armie Hammer), plus their respective gangs of henchmen.
Wheatley has proved himself time and time again to be skilled at slowly building up tension – which is exactly what happens here. Around 30 minutes into the exchange, a previous spat between two of the men flares up and before you know it, all hell breaks loose. As you can image from a firearms deal, a lot of weapons are available – and nobody is afraid to use them. Bullets are flying everywhere!
Wheatley and co-writer, the brilliant Amy Jump, produced a polished screenplay offering plenty of twists and turns. Because of that – alongside witty one-liners, flamboyant characters and remarkable feats of cinematic gunplay – what is essentially a 90 minute shootout shouldn’t work, but it really does.
Overall, Free Fire may be a one-trick pony, but when that trick is this bold and entertaining… who cares?!
Genres: Action & Dark Comedy
Cast: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, Sharlton Copley, Enzo Cilenti & Michael Smiley
Running Time: 1hr 31mins
Written/Directed by: Ben Wheatley
Watch Free Fire and much more at Showcase Cinema De Lux, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas’.