Director Ben Wheatley is blessed with an A-list cast in Free Fire, and with Martin Scorsese on board as an executive producer, the gun crazy, shootout driven movie seems like a can’t miss.
Running a brisk 90 minutes, the feature centers on Justine (Brie Larson), an American business woman who arranges a black-market weapons deal between an IRS arms buyer Chris (Cillian Murphy) and South African gunrunner Vernon (Sharlto Copley). Her humorous (yet deadly) associate Ord (Armie Hammer). serves as her muscle just in case the deal gets bloody.
After a disagreement between a member (Sam Riley) of Chris’ crew and an employee (Jack Reynor) of Vernon’s leads to gunfire, both sides take their respective stations at an abandoned warehouse and shoot it out. Babou Ceesay and Michael Smiley round out the cast.
Along with the sheer pleasure of watching a group of excellent actors simply cut loose in an action packed romp, Free Fire is also a showcase for Wheatley’s technical and visual acumen. The story gives ample enough time to the players involved in this deadly encounter, and Wheatley also throws in a bit of reality in the proceedings (for example, many of the characters, when shot, are dragging themselves across the floor and not limping their way across the floor).
Along with audio commentary from Wheatley, the Blu-ray features an informative “making of” featurette which includes interviews with the cast and crew. In the featurette, Wheatley talks about how, after being tired of CGI driven, big spectacle action films, he aimed for a grittier approach to his 70s set feature. The picture’s genesis also came when Wheatley talked about doing a project with Murphy (he wanted to shoot a movie starring both Murphy and Smiley).