Now on Blu-ray: Ben Wheatley’s Crazy Shootout ‘Free Fire’

GameStop, Inc.

Free Fire

Since breaking onto the scene with his breakout film, Kill List, Ben Wheatley has made a number of films that leave a certain set of cinephiles rapt with his violent tales while simultaneously offending the sensibilities of other film lovers. That divisive nature to Wheatley’s work continues with his latest film, Free Fire, which sees the British writer-director setting one of his films in America for the first time in his career. Locked and loaded, Wheatley’s Free Fire is an action-packed pitch-black comedy that skews America’s ridiculous gun culture and crafts a thriller that where violent actions have horrific consequences. Now Wheatley’s latest madcap piece of cinema lands on Blu-ray with guns a-blazin’.

It’s the late ‘70s in Boston and everyone has big hair and is covered in Polyester from head to toe. Frank (Michael Smiley) and Chris (Cillian Murphy) are two members of the IRA who have traveled to Boston to purchase machine guns for their ongoing fight with the British. The two drugged-up fuck-ups, Bernie (Enzo Cilenti) and Stevo (Sam Riley), are in tow to assist the IRA fighters when the deal is complete. Their liaisons for this deal are Justine (Brie Larson) and Ord (Armie Hammer), a former special ops soldier. The men with the guns for sale are led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley), a wildly flamboyant South African. In his corner is his trusted aide Martin (Babou Ceesay) and the duo of drivers Gordon (Noah Taylor) and Harry (Jack Reynor). The sale of deadly and illegal firearms is complicated because of a fight the night before involving Harry and Stevo, and once one gun is pulled, all guns are pulled.

Most movies of this nature, with two sets of gangs each armed to teeth, typically involve an almost consequence-free form of violence, a kind of gun-fu that sensationalizes the exchange of bullets. Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump don’t that with Free Fire. In one way or another, each of these gun-running criminals takes a bullet, and are hobbled by their wounds. It leads to a darkly comic form of shootout that defies expectations, with characters crawling on the dirty floor of the abandoned warehouse and searching for any kind of cover from the bullets flying over their heads. As the shootout goes on and on, the wounds mount and these characters each look like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, beaten, bruised, and left with no recourse but to struggle and crawl for survival.

The special features on the Blu-ray of Free Fire feature audio commentary from director Ben Wheatley, who is always candid and fascinating when discussing his own work. The way he approaches these wounded characters is, in his own words, similar to that of shooting a car chase. There’s also a lengthy featurette about the making of Free Fire, covering the actors training with firearms to the way the director approached the geography of the film, making sure that there was a continuity between the various placements of these characters. In the making of featurette, there’s also a neat explanation of how one of the more shocking scenes was created entirely with practical effects, and how the director coaxed his star into a seemingly dangerous stunt by doing it himself first.

Free Fire has style and violent action to spare in another wild ride from Ben Wheatley, one that subverts all expectations with each bullet fired and each wound punctured. This can’t be called a crowd-pleasing movie as it’s takes its characters into some dark, violent places, and Wheatley simply refuses to allow the violence to lose its ugliness through cinematic style. Guns are at the heart of Free Fire, but the ghastly effects of each bullet fired are always on the mind of Ben Wheatley as each and every round fired has an impact on the characters and the barebones story. That alone makes Free Fire unlike any of its action movie brethren.

Free Fire
  • Overall Score
4

Summary

An action-packed shootout with style to spare, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire is a darkly comic examination of America’s gun culture with a lengthy exchange of gun fire where every bullet has consequences.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Annabeth Gish & C. Thomas Howell Talk About Their New Modern Western, ‘Ride’ – Interview

Annabeth Gish and C. Thomas Howell Discuss Their Roles in the...

Exclusive Clip from Roku’s ‘Fight Inc.: Inside the UFC’

Exclusive Clip from ‘Fight Inc.: Inside the UFC‘ now streaming exclusively...

‘D.I.Y. Duck’ Honors the Legacy of Donald Duck on His 90th Birthday – Review

Disney Legend Mark Henn and his team of artists honor Donald...

Event News Event Reviews
‘The Old Man and the Old Moon’ at Mission San Juan Capistrano – News

‘The Old Man and the Old Moon‘ at Mission San Juan...

‘Holmes & Watson’ Solve the Case at the Laguna Playhouse – Review

Jeffrey Hatcher’s ‘Holmes & Watson‘, Enthralls Audiences in a Magnificent twist...

‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’ Enchants Audiences at La Mirada Theatre – Review

‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid‘ Enchants Audiences with a heartwarming performance now...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the cactus pt 2?

Scone?

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse! Blood on the cactus pt 1

It was really bloody, limbs hacked, heads torn off etc

Cultural Junk Drawer – The trial of Bluddgore the Obliterator

Wrech Cohvlid takes the stand providing testimony corroborating Cockmiester’s. He also...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...