Although it may be riddled with guns and bullets, Free Fire is surprisingly unexciting but thankfully there are enough laughs to ensure that it’s still entertaining.
Acclaimed director Ben Wheatley is known for being an original filmmaker who’s always up for experimenting and his latest film Free Fire certainly sees him trying something new.
Taking place across one night in a deserted warehouse, an arms deal turns sour as the two gangs turn against each other resulting in a shoot-out and game of survival.
It’s not exactly the story that you would expect the director of the brilliantly strange High-Rise and Sightseers to take on but Free Fire is Wheatley’s attempt at reaching a wider audience.
However, although Wheatley has succeeded in making an accessible and rather normal film, his usually daring nature, unique vision and weirdness is really missed.
Sure audiences will enjoy the quirky humour and extravagant gun battles but there’s nothing special at all about Free Fire and ultimately its blandness will just leave you bitterly disappointed.
Wheatley always brings something new and fresh to cinema but this film is just like any other Hollywood shoot-out that could’ve easily been made by a lesser director.
Also considering this is an action film with plenty of ammunition it’s rather dull and feels like a diet version of the far superior Reservoir Dogs.
However, once you get over the sheer disappointment that the usually outstanding Wheatley made something so generic, there are actually things to enjoy about Free Fire.
It is an entertaining film that’s short but sweet and provides plenty of laughs.
The offbeat and quirky humour is brought out by the clever dialogue and creative characters who are guaranteed to make you grin.
The ever fantastic Sharlto Copley is on fire as a detestable pervert in a Savile Row suit and you’ll be still giggling at his character long after the credits have rolled.
A stellar cast includes the likes of Sam Riley, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley who all give particularly excellent performances.
And although the action is overall tedious there are moments of tension that will keep you gripped and the shoot-outs are beautifully shot whilst being accompanied by a cracking 1970’s soundtrack.
However, although you’ll have a good time watching Free Fire the bitter feeling of disappointment will be left in the pit of your stomach as Wheatley has let himself down by firing blanks on this one.
Just re-watch the incredible High-Rise instead.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.