It’s a free for all in Free Fire
Sometimes movies have the simplest premises. They aren’t meant to be epics or anything. What they are going for is mindless fun. It’s certainly enjoyable to go to the cinema every so often, sit back, and enjoy some humorous action every so often. If it’s done in a way that doesn’t does not try to be too cute or smart with it and understands what it is, then you have the makings of a decent movie. That’s basically what Free Fire does. Does this hold up as a movie worth checking out?
As stated earlier, this is a very simple premise. What we have is firearms transaction that is taking place in an abandoned warehouse between two supposedly criminal groups of people. This sale has been brokered by Justine who is played by Brie Larson. Being that these are two questionable groups of people doing a questionably illegal sale, you just know something questionable is bound to happen. Which it does. Due to some misunderstanding between two of the opposing groups’ associates, shots are fired. This leads to a frenzy where everyone runs for cover. They are now in position where to make it out alive, they must start shooting at each other from their various hiding positions. Slapstick also ensues as comedic barbs are thrown back and forth. Who will ultimately make it out of the warehouse alive?
You have to appreciate the straightforward plot here. That’s certainly a plus for this movie as it doesn’t try to be more than what it is. This movie also boasts a likeable cast. Brie Larson plays the cool Justine role very well. The standout was Armie Hammer as the bearded Ord. He comes across as suave and hilarious at the same time. Cilian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, and Michael Smiley also are decent in what they are asked to do. While the cast has familiar names, certainly the acting isn’t the draw here. It’s the action and the comedy. The whole movie is just people shooting at each other while throwing around insults. At an hour and a half, it is just the right amount without getting too boring.
There are some problems here of course. We get lots of jump cuts here. The action is also filmed kind of shakily. This leads to confusion about who’s shooting who sometimes. Due to the ambiguous layout of the warehouse, it was difficult to get a reading on where each character was in relation to the others. I would think this is important because a lot of strategy in terms of where to go or what to do is kind of pointless on the viewers end. We are asked to basically just sit back and see what happens. It can be frustrating at times. Also for people that deal with guns, these characters have the aim of Stormtroopers. They can’t hit anything, which also renders the stakes to be almost meaningless.
What we have here is kind of video game style movie. There are shades of mysterious whodunnit type aspects here, but it’s all up front stuff. Quentin Tarrantino comes to mind here as Free Fire has that sort of vibe. This movie does have a certain charm to it and it is a fun time. Not much comes to mind in terms of analyzing this type of movie. Either you like fun shoot em up action or you don’t. If you do, then certainly check this out.