The story takes place in Boston, 1978. A deal is agreed upon and the gun sellers, the gun buyers and the facilitators meet at a warehouse late at night. Things do not go as planned and the movie is off and running. So did the entire story keep my attention? Can a story about arms dealing in Boston circa 1978 be entertaining? Let’s take a look at “Free Fire” in this review…
I wasn’t sure what I would get from this film as the marketing campaign wasn’t aggressive. Most people I spoke with were not aware of this film either. The film is credited as an Action, Crime, Thriller. While I agree with that description, there is also an element of comedy that must be acknowledged. The comedic writing for this film was dry and delightful. I believe the humor is what elevates it from an action, crime, thriller to a memorable indie film that people will be talking about for awhile. For me, this was a hidden gem in the early months leading into summer blockbusters. Plus, the rewatchability factor for this film is high (in my opinion).
The characters in this film are each unique. They have a specific flair they add to every scene they are in and, for the most part, they are all in the majority of the film. The bulk of the story takes place in a warehouse and so we are treated to these characters for as long as each one survives, with a few surprises. This film did completely catch me off guard with the realization that Armie Hammer and Sharito Copley are a pair I want to see more of on screen. Their chemistry, matched with the clever writing, was superb. I want to see them in more action comedies together. I could not believe how much I enjoyed the dry delivery of Hammer against the anxious and excitable Copley. It is a great pairing and if we get more films with them acting against each other I think we’ll be in for a treat.
The story doesn’t ask much from us as viewers which was nice. It’s direct and to the point with a few surprises. There is a brief bit in the middle of the second act where the pacing lags but overall it’s definitely entertaining. The run time for this film is only 90 minutes and I’m pleased to report that, aside from the middle bit I just mentioned, the film’s pacing makes 90 minutes feel like 70-80. The action, the laughs and the tension all make the plot move and make the overall experience a positive one. For a smaller budget indie film, I appreciated the practical effects and how well they were executed. The gun fire, the explosions, the fire and the injuries all were reminiscent of action films in the 1980’s when practical effects were the normal and for that I couldn’t be happier with this film.
“Free Fire” is in theaters now! I definitely recommend you get out and see this film in theaters and support indie. If you have ever thought or said, “There’s nothing new in theaters. Every movie is just a remake or sequel to something else.” Leave your couch. Get out of bed. Get off the toilet and go see this movie. These are the surprise movies, we as movie fans, wait for. It’s a fun action flick with clever comedic writing and practical effects. I wasn’t disappointed and you won’t be either. Go see this movie!