Free Fire is an upcoming action comedy crime film written and directed by Ben Wheatley. It stars Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Sharlto Copley. Set in the 1970s, the film follows two groups of criminals who meet up at a warehouse for a weapons deal. A disagreement turns the whole thing into a shootout between the two groups in the warehouse.
Ben Wheatley is an up and coming, but accomplished British director who has yet to make a big name for himself outside the UK, having yet to exit the independent film circle. He is known mostly for a rather disturbing horror film called Kill List about a group of mercenaries who end up entangled in a satanic cult. Kill List is now a cult classic horror film in the UK and won several awards and praise. His most recent work, High Rise, an adaptation of the dystopian science-fiction novel of the same name, starring big names like Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, and Luke Evans, has unfortunately failed to garner the same praise as Kill List.
Though I haven’t seen either Kill List (because I’m a wuss) or High Rise (from what I’ve heard, it’s very disappointing), I have nevertheless kept a close eye on Wheatley’s career, and Free Fire finally looks like my bag, not terrifying, and not disappointing (as far as I can tell). Though Free Fire is certainly not a horror film, he seems to be taking elements of the genre and working them to his advantage. Some may find it questionable to set an entire film in a singular location, but that can actually be extremely effective. Setting a film in a singular location for a horror film like the recent and acclaimed Don’t Breathe or an action film like Dredd or The Raid can ratchet up the tension and feeling of actual dread or add a feeling of claustrophobia. It is exceedingly simple and exceedingly effective. Indeed, the main goal of all the films I just mentioned boil down to “How the Hell do we get out of here alive?” This seems to be the general question Wheatley wants to answer, yet with a very comedic spin on things.
The film, which also has Martin Scorscese attached as executive producer, will premiere at the annual Toronto Film Festival, and will serve as the closing film at the London Film Festival on October 16th, 2016. The film has a UK release date of March 31st, 2017. Upon its international release, I don’t know if Free Fire will be playing in theaters in my area, seeing as it is an independent, and not to mention foreign, release, and those usually only pop up in Chicago or L.A, not small-town Illinois. I do plan to get my hands on it, eventually, though.
This cast is perfect. I straight up love everyone in here. Cillian Murphy is my man crush for life, Allison Brie is a talented comedic actress who first came to light on the hilarious and beloved Community, which holds a special place in my heart, Armie Hammer is still trying to find his footing after The Lone Ranger, but in my opinion, proved himself with both The Social Network and The Man From U.N.C.L.E, and Sharlto Copley is… well… Sharlto freaking Copley. With a cast like this and an idea like this, with some genuinely raunchy and hilarious humor thrown in there, I don’t forsee anything going wrong; it looks like it’ll be great to me.