"By mixing together the right amount of action and comedy, Free Fire is a successful and explosive movie that easily entertains"
British director Ben Wheatley is back again after the intricately weird and complex High Rise with a film that exist in the grey area between comedy and thriller. Set in Boston in 1978, the story focuses on a meeting between an Irish militia group, wanting to buy arms for their cause, and an organisation of well established dealers and their middle woman.
While, at first, the meeting in the warehouse seems to go fine, all of a sudden, two members of both groups recognise each other from a bar fight the night before. From this point on, all hell breaks loose and from a business transaction, the meeting turns into a shootout between the two parties.
Thanks to this pretty linear storyline, the movie is extremely different from his last project, however, with Free Fire, Wheatley unleashes his talent once again to create the perfect combination between action and comedy. The camera follows the actors in their gun-fighting dance around a single room in a dismantled umbrella factory. Between slow-motion scenes, panoramic shoots and close ups on the actors, his directing technique is dynamic and vibrant making the pace of the movie fast and never dull. Even though the setting is a single open space, there isn't an underlaying feeling of claustrophobia because the camera smoothly captures the actors' choreography around the whole room.
The cast ensemble worked together in harmony while portraying their dysfunctional characters. While at the beginning it seems like just two of the characters are each other's nemesis, throughout the gun fire, every single one of them finds their enemies to focus on, making the action look like a duel among a group shooting.
What makes the movie flow at a fast pace is not only the continuos action going on in the room but also the jokes and banter thrown around at every moment. While watching all the characters shoot each other, there is space for a punch line or an eloquent facial expression that brilliantly entertains the audience and make them laugh out loud. The whole cast did a superb job and they were all at the same level supporting one another. Among them, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy's performances were outstanding and the dynamic between their characters is flawless and makes the ending of the movie surprising and satisfying.
By mixing together the right amount of action and comedy, Free Fire is a successful and explosive movie that easily entertains and makes everyone laugh and once again celebrate Ben Wheatley's talent in combining together two genres that seem so far from each other.