I didn’t quite know what to expect when I saw the trailer for Free Fire a few months back. It looked a film that was going to be fast-paced and full of action to the brim. I know they make all trailers so the film looks decent, but there was something about it that I was really looking forward to seeing. Saturday evening, a day after release, I got the chance to sit down in my local cinema and sit tight for an evening screening of it. With a fairly unknown cast with perhaps the most notable Brie Larson (Has just recently appeared in Kong: Skull Island), I was hoping for 90 minutes of fast paced action. Well, I`ve got to say, I was incredibly disappointed.
Free Fire is a film that tells the story of two criminal gangs, an American gang and an Irish gang, as they meet in an old warehouse on the docks to pass over a gun deal that would see the purchase of several guns to the Irish. After the wrong guns are ordered though, it ends in a gun fight between the two sets of gangs, and focuses on the long stand-off between the two gangs and turns into a fight for survival.
Now, I`ve got to say, the first 35 minutes- Very, very good. I was really getting into and really enjoying the tension, the pace and the film itself, and when the gun-fighting started going off, this is what I had seen in the trailer. Fast-paced action and pure carnage and mayhem. But, I had one problem with where this was about to head. This was literally it for the next 50 minutes. For the next 50 minutes, we`re seen in a standoff between the two sides, and although it does focus on the survival element and knowing that one wrong move from either side will see them dead, it does just seem to drag on and on and on until the end. And this is only a 90-minute film. I dread to think what a longer film would have done.
I cannot fault some of the acting in the film however. Brie Larson`s character as Justine and is the middle woman between the two gangs is very good and plays the part incredibly well. She is also seen as one of the key characters and survivors towards the end of the film. The acting from both sets of criminals aswell was also really good and you could really feel they played their parts incredibly well. I`ve seen films before where characters haven’t put any character into their role at all and it really ticks me off. But that isn’t the case with Free Fire. All the characters play their parts well and some add quite good comedy to their roles.
Free fire could have been so much more than what the final piece was. I just felt like the film was dragged out and that other than a long gun-stand-off there wasn’t anything else too it. For the first 35 minutes, I was loving it. The last 55-minutes however turned into a bit of a bore, and I was quite glad when I came out of the screen. It`s a shame really, but it`s not a film for me, and if you`re wanting something a bit more involved, then you`re better off staying away.
Film: Free Fire
Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor, Babou Ceesay, Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Noah Taylor
BBFC Rating: 15