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Free Fire (2017) Advanced Screening Review

An action crime thriller where a warehouse arms deal turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

Release Date: April 21st, 2017

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Rated: 14A

My buddy Robin sent me the trailer for this movie many months ago, and I was definitely excited to see it ever since. When he recommends something to me, there is a very high possibility that I will like it. I was super excited to learn that I could go to an advanced screening of Free Fire this week, I tried to win passes from multiple sources, but I took the passes I got first. This movie looked like a fun distraction, with fun action and some stand out performances. I was ready to have some fun.

Free Fire is a Action, Crime, and Thriller film. Set in Boston 1978, a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two gangs turns into a shootout and a game of survival.

Free Fire was directed and written by Ben Wheatley. The only thing I have seen that Ben Wheatley directed was a letter in The ABCs of Death (2012), I do not remember what letter, so this is my first real Ben Wheatley film. I think he’s an alright director, nothing special, nothing that stands out. There were a couple of neat scenes where he would circle around his actors while they’re talking and getting shot at, and then he would cut to another camera that was closer to their faces. It was passible directing, I feel like the writing and the characters is where this movie is better.

The film was also co-written by Amy Jump, who has worked on many Ben Wheatley’s films. I thought the film was fairly alright written, the characters all had their demons, and all had their stand out lines or quips. I feel like its written better than it was directed. There were a couple lines where I was chuckling pretty hard, but there were also a couple of parts that dragged on a bit, in a movie thats less than an hour and 30 minutes, I feel like no parts should drag, that I shouldn’t want to check my watch every little bit. The script was pretty weak in places though, but I feel like in a movie like this the script doesn’t matter really, its just a fun ride, so I did my best to shut off my brain and just enjoy it for what it is.

The film stars Sharlto Copley as Vernon, Brie Larson as Justine, Armie Hammer as Ord, and Cillian Murphy as Chris.

Sharlto Copley’s filmography consists of District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013), Payday 2 {Video Game} (2013), Chappie (2015), and Hardcore Henry (2015). I love all of Sharlto Copley’s films, he always makes these really weird, but oddly great and entertaining films. He always takes on these really unique roles, and succeeds well in them. He was no different in Free Fire, in fact I really liked him in this movie, he reminded me a lot of his role in Hardcore Henry (2015), except I felt like he shined much more in this film. His character was absolutely hilarious and he had some of the best quips and quirks in the moviee. It’s what you would expect if you have seen a lot of his movies, but if you haven’t you’re definitely in for a treat. This is probably now my second favourite Sharlto Copley film, District 9 (2009), is still my favourite.

Brie Larson’s filmography consists of 13 Going on 30 (2004), Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), Don Jon (2013), and Room (2015). I honestly have never been a huge Brie Larson fan, until I saw Room (2015), and I knew after that role that I was definitely a fan and I knew that she was going to win the Oscar that year. It was cool to see Brie Larson in a completely different role than what I associate her with now, I always expect her to do these really hard hitting, dramatic movies like Room (2015), which I thought she was absolutely wonderful in. But in Free Fire, I thought she was great, she had a very interesting character that had some really funny one liners.

Armie Hammer’s filmography consists of The Social Network (2010), and Entourage (2015). I am not too familiar with the work of Hammer, but I really liked him in The Social Network (2010). I thought Hammer was great in this movie, he was funny, charming and down right over the top in places but I thought it fit the character really well.

Cillian Murphy’s filmography consists of 28 Days Later… (2002), Red Eye (2005), Batman Begins (2005), Sunshine (2007), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), Tron (2010), In Time (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Anthropoid (2016). Cillian Murphy is probably the person in this movie whose work I am familiar with. I knew I wanted to see this movie more when I saw him in the trailer. My favourite film of 2016 was actually a film that he did called Anthropoid, that I absolutely adored. Cillian Murphy is always an actor I’ll watch no matter what he is in. I thought he did a great job in this movie, his character was fun, his dialogue was fun, his one liners were great.

I have no complaints about the acting in this movie, I thought for what it was, that all these actors did a great job in their roles. There were some stand out characters, but I thought it was interesting to see them all unfold as the movie went on. I felt like they showed a lot of character progression and showed who the characters were without a lot of backstory, and it was just a fun ride.

My favourite part of the movie which is not a spoiler, but in the middle of the shootout, the characters would be spouting quips and jokes back and forth to each other. There was a scene where there was a lot of shooting happening and Brie Larson’s character is yelling at Sharlto Copley’s character and he responds something to the effect of “I’d love to help you love, but as you can see and hear they’re shooting at me.” I thought it was a very subtle but funny way to deliver some of the best lines in the movie, so if you see it make sure you pay close attention to what is being said as they’re firing back and forth at each other because it would be a shame if you missed it.

My negatives are few, like the direction and the script issues in some places, but if you can turn your brain off and just want to see mindless violence with some comedy mixed in, its definitely worth seeing.

I give Free Fire a 3.5/5, will definitely be a movie I will watch again. Its a fine movie with a couple of issues. I had fun with Free Fire and I think people should definitely give it a watch.

Until Next Time!


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