Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In the Hands of a Different Director, 'Free Fire' Could Have Been Amazing

Free Fire is an action comedy about an arms deal that went sideways, prompting everyone to start shooting at each other…  Aaaaand that’s about it.

Seriously, the movie is simply a long gunfight until everyone has killed everybody.  In a way, the concept and look have the makings of a cult classic.  However, its execution didn’t turn out being as fun as it should have been.

I was able to have a sense of what director Ben Wheatley was going for.  Unfortunately, he didn’t quite get there.  I feel this movie could have been amazing if he had pulled it off.  Or if it had been in the hands of Guy Ritchie, Shane Black, or (especially) Quentin Tarantino.
It takes 28 minutes before it gets to the shootout.  During that time period, the build up should have been done much better so that there would have been more impact.  A superior script – masterfully peeling off the characters and providing clever, memorable dialogue – would have done the job.  Furthermore, the thrills from the action aren’t consistently sustained, as there are parts when the whole thing gets dull.  The attempts of surprise and compelling conversations amid the action are mostly mediocre, too.

The cast has some notable names in Brie Larson, Arnie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, and Sharlto Copley.  But their presence never truly elevated the movie.

Free Fire is by no means bad.  It’s competently made, has some cinematic stylishness, and offers decent entertainment overall.  But it’s ultimately underwhelming and eventually forgettable.

No comments: