"Nihilistic, Ultraviolent Wannabe Crime Comedy"
What You Need To Know:
FREE FIRE is a movie where there’s no one to like and no one acts in a remotely positive fashion. The characters are lowlife criminals only concerned with themselves and their ill-gotten gains. The movie’s pagan, nihilistic worldview is filled with nearly constant foul language, greed and extreme graphic violence. FREE FIRE has nothing on its mind other than showing bad people doing terrible things.
(PaPaPa, LLL, VVV, SS, DDD, MMM) Very strong pagan, hedonistic, nihilistic worldview with extreme violence throughout nearly the entire movie and constant foul language, and no redeeming qualities whatsoever; at least 202 obscenities (including about 175 or more “f” words), 12 strong profanities and three light profanities; constant very strong and strong graphic violence consists mostly of gun battles with most of the shots hitting people in limbs or non-vital organs at first but followed by attempts at grim and disturbing humor, as the criminals are all progressively disabled by their injuries, and their inability to move or function is played for laughs even as it’s bloody and gruesome, one man in particular stays alive with an open head wound in which part of his brain is seen, man is seen from a distance being grabbed by his groin and put in agony, man is also beaten by a group of men after he is accused of having assaulted another man’s female teenage cousin the night before, another man bursts into flames when he falls in a puddle of gasoline that is set aflame but survives with a burned face and hands, man drives a van over the head of another man, and the crushed results are seen onscreen briefly and bloodily, while the crushed man manages to shoot the driver dead from beneath the van just as he’s about to die, numerous rocks and pieces of concrete thrown by people at each other, and a major explosion occurs but doesn’t appear to kill anyone; several graphic mentions of sexual comments, such as one man jokingly asks another if he had masturbated before the meeting, man jokes he fornicated with another man’s mother, movie’s violence erupts when a man is accused of beating another man’s cousin with a bottle the night before after she had refused to perform a sex act on him, man is forced to make an apology but then laughs about the assault again, setting off the incessant gun battle; no nudity; no alcohol use but one man asks another out to have drinks, even though it’s clear they will never make it out of the building alive; characters smoke cigarettes, one man smokes heroin twice and is described by others as a junkie, and another man casually smokes marijuana throughout extensive gun battle; and, very strong miscellaneous immorality includes the rampant greed and selfishness at the heart of the story and lowlifes come together for an illegal arms deal to get machine guns for the Irish Republican Army.
FREE FIRE centers upon two groups of criminals who come together in a Boston warehouse one night in 1978 to commit an illegal arms deal, and the epic gun battle that ensues when everyone turns on each other. FREE FIRE has a strong pagan, nihilistic worldview filled with nearly constant foul language and graphic extreme violence.
The movie opens by following two lowlife brothers, Bernie and Stevo, on their way to an abandoned factory to help orchestrate the sale of a large cache of automatic assault rifles. They are among the middlemen for two Irish Republican Army members named Chris and Frank, who have come to Boston to purchase the weapons for use back home in Ireland.
A South African arms dealer named Vernon is the man with the weapons, though he arrives with the wrong kind. This causes tension right off the bat until Chris takes some practice shots with the rifles and decides they can create enough damage to satisfy his needs anyway. A briefcase full of money is handed off, but as the bills are being counted by a machine, a henchman of Vernon named Harry notices that Stevo is the man who assaulted his teenage niece with a bottle the night before after she refused to perform a sex act on him.
When Stevo mocks Harry by joking about the assault instead of apologizing, Harry shoots Stevo. Then, when Stevo fires back, he accidentally shoots Vernon in the shoulder. This sets off a vicious gun battle that winds up taking up almost the entire rest of the movie, in which everyone winds up hiding behind piles of rubble or columns throughout the factory.
At first, the members of each side try to help each other survive, but as the mayhem grows, it becomes every man and one steely woman named Justine who is the only person who knows all the men and brought them together for him or her self. The briefcase of cash is the center of attention as everyone seeks to get their hands on it.
FREE FIRE director Ben Wheatley and his co-writer, Amy Jump, have created a movie where there’s no one to like and no one acts in a remotely positive fashion. The characters are all criminal lowlifes only concerned with themselves and their ill-gotten gains, and the dialogue is filled with non-stop foul language.
Surprisingly, a couple of the actors manage to stand out, with Sharlto Copley as Vernon and Armie Hammer as Ord, a mysterious wisecracking middleman, bringing ridiculously over-confident swagger to their characters even as everything collapses around them. Brie Larson as Justine, the woman whom everyone trusted to bring the parties together but is really in it for herself, also stands out amid all the flowing testosterone.
Yet, with no one to truly like and no apparent point to any of the proceedings other than showing bad people doing terrible things, FREE FIRE presents pointless, abhorrent nihilism at its worst.