Standoff – Free Fire (2016)

Shoot out in a warehouse.  So this is about a simple weapon deal that goes horribly, horribly wrong.  It should be as straightforward as handing off funds for firearms, but when two people on opposite sides got into a bar fight the night before, everything escalates with the quickness.  Now I heard the right things from the right critics that made me want to go check this out on a Sunday afternoon.  I do typically enjoy guy movies, and what is manlier than a standoff (i.e. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly).  Free Fire shows you just how rapidly things can go from cordial to cockeyed when there are automatic weapons involved.

2Even when nobody wanted this to happen, it can still happen.

Now there isn’t an ounce of frills or filler to go along with this movie.  When I say that this is about a shootout, it really is just a shootout, and that is it.  Sure, you have the first twenty minutes to setup the deal, but other than that, it is an entire movie that is about people shooting at each other.  I saw this over a week ago, and I am still making up my mind on how I ultimately feel about it.  I do give it credit in that I don’t think I have seen a movie quite like this before.  I’ve seen movies with standoffs, and I’ve seen action movies, but I haven’t seen an action movie that is 80% a standoff.  It’s a powder keg situation, and you can see all of the moving parts that can potentially go wrong, even before the match is lit, so it makes total sense that it comes to this.  Can it sustain as a film on the whole is the question, and I think I was hoping for just a bit more to chew on.  Once the gunfire starts, that is precisely when the script ceases to matter.  There is occasionally shouted dialogue, but its not like these people that are trying to kill one another are sitting in close proximity to each other, they are interacting with one another from under cover.

1And these are good actors here, they just only have the one thing to do.

I am impressed that this movie exists just because I never would imagine that a project like this would ever get a theatrical release.  I even like the actors, and I think this is the best Sharlto Copley has been since The A-Team, and this is the best Armie Hammer has been since all the way back since The Social Network.  It ends in such a way where you can’t help but ask yourself what was the point, and even though I have conflicting feelings about this, at the end of the day I was a bit underwhelmed by this.

Free Fire (2016) ***

– Critic for Hire


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