Last year I was thoroughly disappointed by High Rise, the only other Ben Wheatley feature I’ve seen. It’s trailer looked great but the final product was a huge let-down.
Free Fire also had a cool trailer, but I was weary this time. But with the film only 90 minutes long it seemed worth a go.
Simply put, I much preferred Free Fire to High Rise.
The constantly evolving gun fight that the film centres around is really well put together. It would be easy to make it confusing to follow when you have multiple people holed behind similar looking cover. The feeling that a trailing leg or stupidly peeking over cover will be your end is palpable.
I like this cast. Hammer’s effortlessly cool delivery stood out for me, whilst Murphy is the nearest we get to someone to root for. Copley’s Vernon is marvellously idiotic. The more I write about them, the more I like the characters.
The more I think about it, despite really liking the gun fight and the emotions it puts the characters through, I think it somewhat limits where the story could go. The different perspectives each character brings and their interactions with one another is what I enjoyed most. I just needed a situation that allowed more of that.
Wheatley seems to be a bit of a indie darling. He hasn’t wowed me with either of his films so far, but Free Fire is an entertaining romp that is a big step in the right direction. It struggles to fill even it’s lean 90 minutes, but it’s worth a watch. I think Wheatley’s got it in him to make something I’ll really like in the future.