BY RALPH “THE SHIRE” LINARDIC
God bless Sharlto Copley. He is a national treasure that needs to be protected. In “Free Fire” a gun deal goes rogue and both sides fight and banter the entire length time of the film. The best way to describe the tone of this movie is “Hardcore Henry” with a small budget. The story is simple: two gangs are finalizing a business deal, and there are complications. That’s it. The plot is simple, and thank God it is. Any other distractions or side plots and maybe this film doesn’t have the same flair or energy that it ended up having.
Reason number one why this film works so well is because of the banter between the characters. Every single personality is written so well and each character has so much charm and energy to give the movie. Generally, in action movies the explosions and effects drive the story, but here we have a rare example of a dialogue driven action film. All credit is due to Director and screenwriter Ben Wheatley, who kept the tension moving the enter length of the story.As I said above, Sharlto Copley is magnificent in “Free Fire”. He plays an over-the-top, goofy gangster named Vernon. I can’t even count on my fingers how many catch phrases Sharlto nailed. Without Vernon, the film wouldn’t be the same.
Finally, Brie Larson gives her best performance yet. Yes, better than “Room”. Brie plays Justine, a hustler who is only in it for the money. Nothing about the character’s arc was cliché, and her motivations made a lot of sense looking back. My only complaint with Justine is she didn’t get enough screen time.As for negatives, the second act drags quite a bit. The action makes it bearable, but the plot fails to progress and thrive for a long period. This put a damper on a quite enjoyable low budget action thriller.
“Free Fire” is a dialogue driven action film that only works because of the extraordinary screenplay. Sharlto Copley and Brie Larson headline an excellent cast that brought a lot of energy and fire to the story.