Director Ben Wheatley’s latest thriller Free Fire is set in the 1970’s and is an exciting explosive thriller all set in one location, a deserted warehouse in Boston where an arms deal is about to take place. But when tempers and arguments start to flare up it turns into one big, violent and at times hilarious gunfight where it looks like no-one will come out alive.
What makes the film so enjoyable is the characters, some annoying, some incompetent and some just downright crazy. The choreography is expertly done and in real time. It’s refreshing to see gunshot wounds actually inflicting pain and damage, a lot of the time the cast is crawling through the dust and broken glass just to get the next shot at the target.
But it all remains exciting as all that matters to most of them is either the money or the guns and they will stop at nothing to get them. The cast are all excellent, a bearded Armie Hammer playing Suave middleman Ord, recent Oscar-winner Brie Larson, and grizzled old-timer Frank brilliantly played by Michael Smiley. There are a couple of unexpected twists along the way and overall this is a fun and very enjoyable thriller.
The Blu ray released by Studio Canal has a very good 1080p transfer, detail is good sometimes the dim lighting conditions don’t help and the film has distinct yellow hue but that’s more to do with the setting than anything else. Audio has a very strong DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which is great throughout, especially the gunfights as you can imagine. The dialogue is clear and understandable, it is an excellent and very powerful soundtrack.
Extras are short but well worth viewing, especially the making of (it was all shot in Brighton!) which goes into enough detail but not so as to spoil the viewing experience. (Don’t watch this first as there are major spoilers). Also, you get interviews and an Audio Commentary from writer/director Ben Wheatley and stars Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor.
A great thriller, called Tarantino inspired in some circles and although you can see similarities to parts of Reservoir Dogs, I think that is a bit lazy and unfair to the director and the film, which is the most interesting British made action comedy I have seen in a long time.
FILM : 8 PICTURE: 7.5 AUDIO: 9 EXTRAS: 7