Never has a film made in 2017 begged more to be reviewed in the 80s Action format, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There were more bullets flying in this movie than there were sexual innuendos. Nothing else mattered, the quotes and one-liners in Free Fire put it into the rarefied air with movies like Commando and Predator. The film made Bonnie & Clyde look like a pacifist speed-run thru Doom. Being shot is fun again, especially in front of a Birdie and in a Savile Row Suit.
This film was brutally gory, wonderfully acted, and the dialogue was just an endless string of impossibly hilarious punchlines… in keeping with the situation. I might add, the situation was not good, it was as horrible as it could possibly be. In this day and age guilty pleasure films are hard to come by, but this one delivered. The cast was spectacular and all the acting was great, but Armie Hammer stole every scene that he was in. This was his best performance ever. This movie, in spite of all the bloodshed, was a comedy!
The plot was very simple. There was an arms deal in progress in Boston in 1978. The Buyers represented the interests of the IRA and were about as organized, focused and intelligent as the burglary crew in the movie Snatch. The Sellers were a mongrel group of paranoid nitwits headed by a South African with an impossible accent, and brokered by Armie Hammer with a beard. What could possibly go wrong? The answer is EVERYTHING! For the viewing audience, there was no surprise here, you just know that things are going to be fucked up with this crew. This was a movie where restraint, good judgment and non-impulsive behavior was an impossibility, so just accept it, hang on and enjoy.
Ben Wheatley created organized mayhem in this movie so seamlessly, and with such crisp humor that the audience is chuckling instead of cringing with every bullet that hit the bone. Like in The Hateful Eight, the action occurs not in one room, but in one gigantic abandoned factory warehouse that was just perfect for this 90 minutes of poetry and pandemonium. The immortality of the hapless participants seems to go on forever, but unlike most shootouts that make us wince, we never want this one to end. The rival gangs shot at each other and themselves, bled, cried, mourned, cracked jokes, smoked dope, hit on the Birdie, bled some more, and tried to extricate themselves from an impossibly hilarious but deadly situation. If you are a regular reader of Ruthless Reviews, I guarantee you will love this film.
Quotes and One liners (too many to possibly list)
- “You smell of perfume” – Chris “Its beard oil” -Ord
- “You smell good” – Gordon “Thank you, it’s your mother” -Ord
- “The, uh, fag and the retard are an interesting choice of muscle to bring to the party.” –Ord
- “I forgot whose side I’m on!” – Gordon
- “As gorgeous as ever! Well, you’ve put on a bit of weight – Gordon “Fuck Off!” – Justine
- “So that’s what a fucking brain looks like!” – Gordon
- “You didn’t masturbate before you got here, did you? -Ord (to Frank)
- “Really? (after Chris pointed out that Vernon had brought the wrong weapons) “I’m not running a Pizza Delivery Service” -Vernon
- “Did you cheaters bring a sniper?” – Ord
- (After Vernon is shot in the shoulder) “My Fucking Suit!” -Vernon
Special Ruthless Ratings -or- What I Learned from Free Fire
- Re-watchability and Ruthless one-liners-10/10
- The number of times I shamelessly giggled during the movie – 12
- The number of bullets expended in this movie. Seriously? Tens of thousands.
- The number of bullets that actually hit the mark? Less than two dozen.
- The number of people in the theater. -3
- Don’t wear your best suit to an arms deal
- Did anyone actually die in this movie? Are you kidding? Just go see it.