Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
It took me a little while to completely digest Ben Wheatley's Free Fire. I felt something was off. I couldn't figure out what it was. Then, it hit me like a bullet. It's the action. I could replay scene after scene in my head. I knew what was going on. It should be total chaos. That's what I'm used to seeing in crazy action movies. If you have an hour + long gunfight, there should be disorganization. Bullet fly. People die. That's what we are trained to expect. Yes, the bullets fly. Yes, people die. But, it's done in a Ben Wheatley special kind of way. A lot of credit should be given to his script writing partner wife, Amy Jump for some very memorable dialogue, and DoP, Laurie Rose for organizing the most organized 65 minute gunfight you will ever see.
It's hard to pick out one star from Free Fire. Brie Larson will probably win the popular vote, and she definitely holds her own with the boys. Affordable Jude Law, Cillian Murphy has the most depth due to his personal relationship with multiple characters. Armie Hammer looks pimp as fuck with his beard, and smokes more dope than Cheech or Chong. Sharlto Copley plays Sharlto Copley. It's something you must ask yourself. Is his act getting old? Is he a one trick pony? Then, perhaps my personal favorite, Jack Reynor. But, maybe I like him so much because I just watched him in Sing Street? These are the actors that stand out to me. However, the entire cast is a solid ensemble. Everyone is dressed to hit the disco right afterwards, except the crackhead. It's the '70s and there's no cellphones at this Boston Standoff!
John Denver's music blaring in an action movie. Say that 5 times! The handgun usage makes the gunplay interesting, because it takes out the "spray and pray" concept of high powered assault rifles weapons usage. I'm sure Wheatley, Jump and Rose could track every single bullet shot. (We need that on a commentary, please!) The one location standoff action movie is one of my favorite sub genres for action movies. The warehouse itself is a character. It's full of boobie traps and other surprises. There's deceit, deception, trickeration and humor all mixed together to make for an unique action experience. Plus, you gotta love how it's the Boston Boys who cause all the trouble.
I want to watch Free Fire again to laugh at the stupidity of every single character. Your enjoyment factor might be determined by how much you enjoy the movie when the bullets aren't flying. These characters ain't the sharpest tools in the shed, but they bring the laughs and a couple of the kills are absolutely fabulous. Attention action lovers: Get yo ass to the movies, and check this one out!!