Sunday, April 23, 2017

Movie Review: Free Fire

When a gun deal goes wrong, it leads to a comical shootout between two sides that is both gruesome and funny to watch. Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) want to buy guns for the IRA so he meets up with Justine (Brie Larson) who connects with Ord (Armie Hammer). Ord knows a strange South African dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley) who brings the wrong type of guns, AR-17 instead of M-16s. Frank has brought along two junkies Bernie (Enzo Cilenti) and Stevo (Sam Riley) who had been in a fight the previous night and are high on smack. 

Vernon brought along an ex-Black Panther Martin (Babou Ceesay) who tries to calm him when things get heated. He also uses two men Harry (Jack Reynor) and Gordon (Noah Taylor) to carry the heavy guns. The clash arises when Harry recognizes Stevo from the night earlier. It is never clear what truly happened but Harry claims that Stevo cut his cousin's face when she refused to have oral sex with him. The argument escalates until Harry shoots Stevo and everyone draws a gun on everyone else. 

The gunshots hit everyone as bullets fly but most of the wounds are not lethal at first. The criminals get hit in the leg or the shoulder. The shootout takes place in a large abandoned factory, possibly used to be for making umbrellas, so there is debris all over. Vernon is worried about infection but as the wounds grow progressively worse, it is clear that many of them won't get out. It is also apparent that there was a double-cross as snipers show up to add to the mayhem and bullets flying.  

For as much action as goes on in this movie, I found parts of it to be rather boring. I'm not sure if it was that there were not clear cut good guys or bad guys or that some of the action was confusing, but I never really cared and bullets flying for gunfighting's sake just doesn't cut. Still, the humor was enough to keep the movie more entertaining than the action. There are various goals that get the men and woman crawling around the factory trying to get where they are going as alliances shift and shots go wild. 

No one makes it out as appears obvious from the premise but there are some exceptional deaths. Vernon is set on fire shoots his attacker but then gets a bullet to the face. Stevo fighting with Harry gets his head run over. Martin lives a little while longer with a hole in his head. Ord and Chris nearly make it out when they are finally double-crossed by Justine. She had a plan of her own and the shootout messed that up pretty badly. The ending isn't too ambiguous as Justine tries to limp away from the carnage only to hear sirens and see flashing lights coming from outside. It's a decent film but nothing too special.

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