Free Fire — A Mexican standoff of the Irish Storm Troopers

I believe this film is meant to be an homage to Reservoir Dogs movie. It has the same key elements. Characters — armed mobsters. Location — abandoned warehouse. Setting — a Mexican standoff. But this film is not destined to pass the test of time and achieve the same amount of cultural heritage as its ideological inspirer.

Free Fire is not a crime thriller, it is a farce comedy. British humor is hilarious and the cast of the movie is close to perfect with Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer. It would seem there is everything in place to be an excellent film. The beginning of the movie is promising. A lot of dialogues full of humorous and witty sayings. But since the gun deal goes south we are forced to watch how the characters crawl in the dust for the next hour or so. The whole hour is filled with awkward shooting and incessant insults.

What mistake did the director Ben Wheatley make? It is obvious that the film adheres to the standard three-act structure. But timing distribution is unique in Free Fire. We have about 10 minutes of ‘exposition’ in act I while characters are introduced. Then we have another 10 minutes of ‘rising action’ in act II while the gun deal is happening. And finally, we get a massive 70 minutes of a ‘climax’ in act III till the very last frame before end-credits. Does this approach was the right choice? I doubt.

Does this movie suck? Definitely not.

Does this movie worth watching? Definitely yes.

Why I’m so fuddy-duddy about it? Imagine this film being made by Guy Ritchie or Edgar Wright and you will get my point. It could be better, much better.