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Free Fire- Review


“Free Fire” (2017)

Directed by Ben Wheatley

Starring Sharlto Copley,  Brie Larson,  Armie Hammer

Running Time 90 Minutes, Rated R.

2.5 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com


British filmmaker Ben Wheatley (“Kill List”, “A Field in England”) releases his latest, “Free Fire” with the cleverness of a film student working on a genre specific homework assignment with gusto, unfortunately this exercise should have stayed in the classroom and not the theaters.


It’s Boston, it’s the late 70’s, and it’s a film with one locale and one night to say what it has to say. There are two gangs in an abandoned warehouse trying to pull down a weapons deal.  Looking to buy are some Irish gangsters led by Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) trying to bring back some arsenal for the motherland.  The sellers are a group of South Africans led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and some U.S. associate, whilst the broker of the deal (and the only one who has seen some real action pulling a trigger) is the mercenary Ord (Armie Hammer).  Just so happens that the deal goes south when one from Chris’ side was less than Christian to a loved one from the South African side the night before.  A briefcase of money, a buttload of guns, and even more testosterone are a’blazing, even from the only lady between the two gangs played by Brie Larson.  


The set up is fun, and Wheatley gets to the point.  But then that point becomes tedious and repeated to an unpleasant outcome.  They casted well; Copley is one my favorite character actors working today being slimy-funny like nobody else, Murphy is just as quiet and weirdly charming as ever, Larson can play soft and tough all at the same time, but it’s Armie Hammer who grew a giant baby bird hiding beard who delivers some of the funniest lines with his cocky tough guy routine.  Unfortunately, the talented cast can’t mask a weak script that doesn’t peel behind the surface for any of it’s characters.

Not a huge misfire, but here’s a film that should be free to you if you’re gonna see it (see what I did there).



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