About – Set in Boston 1978, a meeting between two gangs in a deserted warehouse for an exchange of guns and money, turns into a shootout and a battle for survival.
Free Fire is set around ten main characters that are involved in this gun and money exchange. When a sudden change of scene happens between two characters, one from each side of the gang. This sudden change, escalates the whole process of the transaction of the deal and turns into a shootout.
Directed and written by Ben Wheatley, well-known for 2011 Kill List and 2015 High-Rise. His direction for Free Fire is a very simple but effective way. By having all the characters in the same location, it is easier to figure out who the characters are shooting at and talking too. Free Fire doesn’t make you think about the outcome of each character, you are waiting for the outcome to be delivered to you from every angle. This was brilliantly done by Ben and the direction flows throughout the entire film.
As previously mentioned, the cast was huge with ten main characters in the middle of the shootout. However, there was seven main-main characters that you follow and care about. These were Stevo (Sam Riley), Frank (Michael Smiley), Justine (Brie Larson), Chris (Cillian Murphy), Ord (Armie Hammer), Harry (Jack Reynor) and Vernon (Sharlto Copley). Every performance was strikingly brilliant especially, Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley. These two really shined their characters, which personally brought the whole film together.
Free Fire is set in one location and shot in the same location. With the shootout in a deserted warehouse, there is a lot of space in a location like this. However, the way that Free Fire makes you feel, is that you are claustrophobic like you are involved with the characters. Not in a claustrophobic way that you feel too close to the characters but hiding with the characters to stay safe. This works brilliantly to get the feeling of how scared these guys are and how much involvement Ben Wheatley wanted you to be part of the film.
The unbelievable sound effects, brought Free Fire together. This is another element that brought the film that claustrophobic feeling. (In the screening the sound was louder due to Ben Wheatley wanting the audience to have the full effect. However, this will not be in every screening). With this understanding, the impact of the sound effects especially the guns and bullets going off are going to be different in other screenings. However, in this screening, with the shootout being in a warehouse there is a lot of metal that bounces the bullets. This has different sound frequencies that sound exactly like you are in this deserted warehouse, which makes you jump and shiver every time a gun goes off.
Overall, Free Fire is a brilliant action, comedy, drama. The comedy element hasn’t been mentioned as there isn’t that much dialogue so I didn’t want to spoil it. The cast and the performances were superb, you felt a love-hate relationship with every character. Free Fire has a one hour and thirty-minute running time, which is a perfect amount of time to get the narrative and the shootout enough time to breath.
The UK release date for Free Fire is 31st March 2017.