Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Jack Reynor, Cillian Murphy, and Armie Hammer get into more trouble than it’s worth in Ben Wheatley’s action-comedy ‘Free Fire’. Through its first act, ‘Free Fire’ feels like a climax heavy rip-off of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’, with an equal (yet maybe more or less) amount of F-bombs, more bloody violence, and no back story to compare it to. Most of it even feels like an extended short film; for that, I will praise ‘Free Fire’. As much as I feel this is ripping off one of my favorite movies of the 90’s (and possibly one of the best Tarantino films of all time), I found ‘Free Fire’ to be quite original and bold.
I feel there may not be much of a plot here, but it doesn’t truly matter. ‘Free Fire’ is a fun, and at times, exciting movie that goes out there to at least make an attempt at being thrilling. If there is a plot, I would say that it revolves around a bunch of arms buyers, two arms dealers, and a deal gone wrong. Sounds simple, right? That is basically the setup for something crazy and violent. Copley is charming and, at times, hilarious as Vernon; one of the arms dealers. I also enjoyed Larson (as I usually do) as Justine, one of the buyers.
What ‘Free Fire’ may lack in plot and character development, it gains in Wheatley’s direction, its sound design, and cinematography. I just noticed that Ben Wheatley has an eye for cinematography looking at the way this film was shot, as well as its opening and closing credits. He also directed ‘High-Rise’, which was also set in the 70’s, and was filmed with that same style in mind. The DOP (Director of Photography) for this film is Laurie Rose, who also did the cinematography for ‘High-Rise’. With that in mind, it seems that Wheatley and Rose are a perfect team, and they are getting closer to making a great movie. It may not be ‘Free Fire’, but someday, it will be something that captures my heart.