Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Film review: Free Fire (2017)

In the dead of night in an abandoned dock building in Boston, 1978, Justine (Brie Larson), a well-connected businesswoman has facilitated a deal between some amateur IRA militants (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Sam Riley) and vainglorious international gunrunners (Arnie Hammer, Sharlto Copley).  It is supposed to be a straight swap of a van of M16s and a suitcase packed with dollars, but tensions are high and one of the periphery goons on either side of the deal recognise each other leading to an altercation where bullets are exchanged… for the next 90 minutes.

That is essentially the whole plot of Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire: an extended shoot out in an old warehouse between rival egomaniacal criminal ‘gangs’.  Yet it is so tightly scripted, acted and contained that it could have lasted another 60 minutes and still been engaging.