Free Fire

Free Fire doesn’t beat around the bush. After some brief exposition and character introductions, the film becomes one giant playground shootout. Forget about any unnecessary dialogue or extensive setup. It goes straight for the jugular.


The premise is simple. A group of IRA members have set up a meeting with an arms dealer to purchase some firearms to help further their cause. Everyone is on edge and things quickly spiral out of control when they bring the wrong weapons. Gunfire soon erupts and chaos ensues as bullets fly from all directions. Alliances will change, people will be shot, and not everyone will make it out alive.


The entire film revolves around this volley of gunfire and the banter that goes on between the exchanging of bullets. It’s hilariously violent. The main players on the IRA side include Chris (Cillian Murphy), Frank (Michael Smiley), and Stevo (Sam Riley), who ends up being the one to cause the blowout in the first place. Vernon (Sharlto Copley) is the arms dealer, and he’s brought with him Ord (Armie Hammer), Gordon (Noah Taylor), and Harry (Jack Reynor) among others as backup. In the middle of it all is Justine (Brie Larson), who helped set up the meeting between the two groups.


There are a lot of players on the field so it can be difficult to keep track on what’s going on. Then again, that also plays into the film itself as no one exactly who’s shooting at who. Oftentimes they’re blindly firing into the air, hoping to hit someone on the other side. What makes Free Fire work so well is the hilarious banter between the characters. The dialogue is so casual and over-the-top that it’s hard to believe they’re actually shooting real guns at each other. Also, when someone gets shot it seems as if they were hit with a BB pellet as opposed to a real bullet, which helps make it feel less gratuitous and more comical.


Free Fire is a chaotic ballet of bullets, bruises, insults, and deception. Its focus on a single shootout sets it apart from other action films, and the colorful cast of characters make it more memorable than most as well. You won’t find a more cinematically fun film at the theaters.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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