From Free Fire’s introductory dialogue (“Fuck the small talk, let’s buy some guns”), you know you’re in for an energetic romp. This lean and tinnitus-triggering crime caper sees an arms deal go bad in a deserted warehouse. The motley crew of participants, which includes petulant Irish gangsters, a pot-smoking Yank and a “misdiagnosed child genius”, winds up in a bloody battle that plays out like Reservoir Dogs’ dustier and quippier cousin. It’s a 1970s-set shootout that knows what it wants to be and fulfils the promise of its two-gangs-try-to-survive premise, with a quotable script to boot. But following in the footsteps of the brilliantly uncategorisable Kill List, the trippy A Field in England and last year’s audacious J. G. Ballard adaptation High-Rise, you can’t help but feel this is a lesser offering from the prolific Wheatley. Still, well worth a shot.
Free Fire | Directed by Ben Wheatley (France, UK 2016) with Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson. Starts April 6
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