Stars: Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Noah Taylor, Cillian Murphy
Wide release April 21 (US)
If you have ever wondered what a shootout would look like if BOTH sides had stormtrooper marksmanship, this might be the movie of the millennium for you. This skin deep 1978 Boston warehouse gangster flick, has a lot of humor for the duration of the 90 minutes, even if plot development doesn’t move past the setup.
And let’s be honest here, the setup only resembles a plot, in that it leads to the gimmick…but I’ll get to that in a minute. Justine (Larson) is brokering a deal between an IRA faction led by Chris (Murphy) and a gun broker, Ord (Hammer), and his gun dealer friends (Copley et al.). Both sides bring henchmen to facilitate the actual exchange, however, unbeknownst to the parties, these stand-ins have a score to settle with one another from a fight the night before. What ensues is the start of a gunfight that takes up about the next 70 minutes. The relentless onslaught of mostly ineffective weaponry reaches almost comic levels(you are inclined to laugh when someone actually DOES get hit). Every once in a while someone stands up and moves around..only to be shot in the leg and made to crawl around with liberal doses of one-timers.
I should feel bad here because I think I may have spoiled the movie. There really isn’t much more to the main plot. The intent is to keep the action high, the walking limited and the mouth free-flowing. Style and action over substance…check. The cast is mostly wasted. Larson has been far more interesting, in fact, they all have. This movie does have a positive aspect in its 90 minutes running time in this day and age of wearing even good scripts thin with bloat. Free Fire is mostly fun, even if you care nothing for any of the characters and won’t remember it past the exit.