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Review: Free Fire offers fun, over-the-top ode to the siege movie

FREE FIRE (2016).

Courtesy of Elevation.

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Free Fire
Written by
Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump
Directed by
Ben Wheatley
Starring
Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer
Genre
Thriller
Classification
18A
Country
France/U.K.
Language
English
Year
2016

The British filmmaking team of Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump defies easy classification. Together, the husband-and-wife collaborators have tackled dystopic drama (High-Rise), cult-flavoured gore porn (Kill List) and psychedelic fantasy (A Field in England). With Free Fire, which opened last year's Midnight Madness program at TIFF, the pair shoot a bit straighter, literally – this is a mostly fun, over-the-top ode to the siege movie, as well as a love/hate letter to all things firearm-related. Guns are brandished, deployed and exhausted with astonishing excessiveness in this 90-minute, seventies-set shoot-em-up, which pits a group of cocksure IRA thugs against a band of equally arrogant Detroit and European gun dealers. As newly minted Oscar-winner Brie Larson and various character actors (Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley) fire, duck and get caught in the crossfire of a deal gone wrong, Wheatley (director) and Jump (screenwriter) surely set a record for the most bullets ever fired in a single film. See it on the big screen with surround sound to appreciate the full effect of the team's ricochet-heavy sound editing.

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About the Author

Barry Hertz is the deputy arts editor and film editor for The Globe and Mail. He previously served as the Executive Producer of Features for the National Post, and was a manager and writer at Maclean’s before that. His arts and culture writing has also been featured in several publications, including Reader’s Digest and NOW Magazine. More

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