Free Fire ⭐⭐⭐

The set up is economical and enticing: Tarantino-esque (though closer to The Hateful Eight than Reservoir Dogs) with a British sense of humour; and Ben Wheatley manages to conjure up a film with a handful of watchable and recognizable actors made almost unrecognizable with 70s facial hair (even Patrick Bergin pops in from the 90s for a welcomed but all too brief appearance) and a thin story with one great idea, copious amount of swearing and some very funny one-liners for Sharlto Copley’s character. When a gun deal goes violently wrong, there’s mistrust and betrayal on both sides leading to a long and protracted shoot-out in a warehouse for the next 80 mins or so. An audacious and ambitious endeavour by a writer-director that refuses pigeon-holing, it is a fun piece of pure, visceral entertainment at the very least. However, it could have been more if it is less chaotic and repetitive, with more characterisation than just people pointing their guns and shooting wildly and blindly at anyone and everyone. If Wheatley sets out to prove he can be as commercial and accessible as any other directors around, then he has certainly succeeded but the end result here is stylish yet superficial and disposable.

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