Wheatley’s commitment to crowdpleasing antics makes it difficult to stop and consider the lack of depth. In a universe of shootout clichés, Free Fire manages to carve out its own niche, where the proverbial last man standing matters less than the journey to get him there.
The Film Stage
A surefire cult classic in the making, its unhinged carnage proves a memorable delight. It may not be original, but it’s an adrenaline shot I sorely craved.
Consequence of Sound
Free Fire might be a trifle of a quippy, feature-length shootout, but it’s the best damned trifle of a quippy, feature-length shootout you’ll ever see.
The fact that they could all lay down their weapons and finish the deal heightens Wheatley’s generally irreverent approach, all of which serves to remind that guns don’t kill people; insecure, overcompensating idiots do.
It might seem unlikely that something so narratively simplistic and ultimately childish could sustain its runtime but the chaos and comedy of the haphazard gunplay is such that it only suffers from a handful of lulls.
There’s a decent amount of craft on display, along with a filmmaker of genuine chutzpah. Throw just a little restraint into the mix, and you might really have something.
There’s something lacking, a touch of the bizarre or the perverse, with just one particularly nasty death to serve as a reminder that you’re watching a Ben Wheatley film.