As much as it was fun for the cast, Free Fire is a mediocre and forgettable shoot’em up movie that looks like a Tarantino knock off no thanks to its self-satisfied script.

Justine (Brie Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen and a gang led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer), who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired during the handover, complete pandemonium ensues, with everyone at the scene suddenly thrust into a heart-stopping game of survival.

At its best and worst, CGI driven movies have given viewers plenty of crazy shit. And as some kind of blessing in disguise, this also created a space for old fashion action movies to thrive and offer an alternative.

Free Fire reduces the elements of a shoot’em up action movie into its simplest form – no CGI, no fight choreography, no bullet “ballets” – just a bunch of people locked in a gun fight.

The cast is filled with talented and interesting mix of actors, including Peaky Blinders’ star Cillian Murphy, the next Brad Pitt candidate Army Hammer, current Hollywood fave Brie Larson, go to likeable loon Sharlto Copley, and low budget Thor Jack Reynor. The rest are British character actors that you’ve probably seen somewhere.

It’s obvious that the cast here is having fun which makes their characters watchable even with a simplistic narrative. However as the plot progresses, things eventually get monotonous and pointless.

Free Fire wants the viewers to revel in its irreverent approach but doesn’t offer anything memorable. The one-line zingers fall flat and sound like try hard banters better done in Guy Ritchie flicks. The gun fight is silly and most of it are flesh wounds on different limbs designed to prolong a gunfight into a film. Essentially you’re just waiting to see who dies next but there’s nothing to care about.

At some point it gets tiring to see these blokes grunt and crawl around. There was a lot of hype about a woman being in this movie. But Brie Larson looks misplaced as Justine, who’s just a flat plot device.

In fairness the movie consistently lowers your expectations so you know what you’re into. However, that also begs the question, what’s the point of watching a bunch of random guys – and a girl – shoot each other in a warehouse when they’re plenty of 90’s movies that do the same thing with a plot that involves more than a single scene and a story?

The movie climaxes with a ridiculous scene and ends with on a cliffhanger but at that point, you just want it to finish if you haven’t dozed off.

The result is a self-satisfied forgettable mediocre movie that falls short of being a satire. If there’s one thing that can be derived from Free Fire though, is that guns don’t kill people. It’s people who refuse to put down their guns even when its perfectly reasonable.

My Rating: 5/10

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