Well even by my standards this is a poor show. Pre-summer blockbuster release droughts being what they are, I still manage to find something to review, even if it’s some TV show from a decade ago that nobody watched (incidentally my reviews for Jericho haven’t gone anywhere). I was going to have this particular critique out and ready for prime time some weeks ago, but then I fucked off to the army for a bit and then fucked back on about 5 days later, so now my schedule and time of writing is all over the shop. Of course it didn’t help that I was deliberately trying to put off writing about Free Fire for the same reason one might put off a visit to an accountant; tedious doesn’t really cut it.
Well that’s a little unfair. Free Fire isn’t exactly low on action, in fact I’d love to find out how many blank rounds they got through, because I reckon it’d be on par with a Steven Seagal film. The problem is that that’s all the film really does. The gunfire is absolutely relentless and with no juxtaposition it just becomes a drag. So what else does it have going for it? The story presents a fascinating part of the film in that it’s barely fucking there and at the same time a completely incomprehensible mess of betrayals, vengeful grievances and poor bastards getting caught in the crossfire. The story, such as it is, involves some IRA blokes with awful facial hair coming to Boston to buy some guns. One of these is a horrendously under-cast Cillian Murphy, who like most of the actors in this film simply isn’t given room to breathe through all the gunsmoke. Anyway they are escorted by the suitably handsome Armie Hammer, proud speaker of the only funny line in this apparent ‘comedy’, to the arms dealer, the utterly ridiculous Vern, played by Sharlto Copley. He is one of the few characters I sort of liked, purely because of his absurd ‘remember this is the 1970’s’ outfit and stupid dialogue. Oh and Brie Larson is there as well. No idea what she’s doing there. She’s the sole survivor, by the way, and that’s not a spoiler, because if you set your entire film in one room, you know that everyone has to die for there to be any kind of closure.
The entire story and indeed the film as a whole can be summed up with the phrase “there’s some kind of misunderstanding and then it all kicks off”. It absolutely baffles me how anybody can give this film any significant praise when it’s so bloody insubstantial. There’s nothing I can say about this film, because there’s barely anything to talk about! It’s not badly made, or poorly written, its just kind of boring. Some of the acting is good, I suppose, and if you like utterly exhausting gunfire from start to finish then I suppose this if for you. Maybe I wasn’t the target audience for this film. Maybe there was no target audience. Maybe it’s just the director setting money on fire and the cast decided to be in on the action. Who knows? I can neither recommend nor condemn Free Fire when there’s so little to discuss. I’ll just have to chalk it up as one of the many distractions I convinced myself to watch between films I actually want to watch and write about. Like Alien: Covenant, aka ‘We won’t mention Halo if you won’t’.