Free Fire (2016)

Free Fire (2016) movie poster

director Ben Wheatley
viewed: 04/30/2017

The latest from Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump is a throwback’s throwback, a Quentin Tarantinoesque gunfight that runs almost the duration of the film. It’s a “Mexican stand-off” but where everybody has lost their cool and the shooting never stops.

From that perspective, Free Fire is all meat, no veggies, and coming in at 90 minutes, it’s a rare treat in these days of overlong movies. Everyone is a character, or at least a caricature, not exuding depth but a simple set of characteristics to allow them to stand out from one another. Setting it in the 1970’s allows the fashions and styles to add an air of retro to the whole shebang.

This should be fun, I thought. And it is fun. But not as fun as it should be.

Why? If anything, it should probably be funnier. It is comedic, grimly so, but I don’t know. It could be bloodier, too. That might have added something. Generally, I don’t find it worthwhile trying to figure out what a movie was missing.

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