Is Free Fire a political allegory, or am I just reading into it too much?
If you think about it: a bunch of completely incompetent thugs, brutes, and a lack of women (save for one) all trapped together in a delicate situation that could lead to everyone’s demise doesn’t sound too far off from the current state of global affairs.
But Free Fire, a loving homage to the likes of Guy Ritchie, Tarantino, and some Scorsese (who even exec-produced it) doesn’t really seem to concern itself with politics, but rather the lack thereof.
In a matter of 90 minutes, Free Fire takes two gangs, thrusts them into a failed arms deal inside an abandoned warehouse, and then has them all gunning each other down. It’s simple and mindless, but has a little something extra to offer.
Casting Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, Jack Reynor, Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley seems rather hodgepodge, but when you give them a zippy script comprised mostly of “fuck you” and “shut up,” it results in a semi-self-serious film that’s major problem only really lies in the fact that there isn’t any backstory to these people at all. So you don’t have much to root for on one side or the other, instead you just have to sit there and watch these awful people rip themselves apart in one of the funniest, most overly-long shootouts in movie history.
At times the movie gets a little confusing and hectic. The camerawork leaves something to be desired as the close quarters and jerky motions occasionally create sloppiness. But that can be forgiven with the delightful, low angle tracking shots that crisscross throughout the warehouse showing all of these people laying down against minimal cover, desperately trying to survive as they fire off round after round at each other. There’s some hysterical moments here, and the creativity is astounding.
Director Ben Wheatley proves he’s got some sense of style, even if he borrows heavily from those before him without making a true name for himself. Nevertheless, Free Fire is a spiffy little action movie that asks you to leave seriousness at the door in exchange for some gleeful chaos.