Free Fire

Directed by Ben Wheatley

Courtesy of TIFF

BY Matthew RitchiePublished Apr 21, 2017

This review was originally published during the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival

British director Ben Wheatley has had a lot of success playing fast and loose with his surreal and subversive filmmaking in recent years, gaining a cult-like following and loads of critical adoration thanks in part to the Toronto International Film Festival (his four previous films have played there).
He continues his weirdo indie-auteur reign at the festival with Free Fire, a violent and vulgar shoot 'em up that recalls early Quentin Tarantino. Set in a dilapidated warehouse in the 1970s, the film stars an unlikely ensemble of British A-list actors (Michael Smiley, Cillian Murphy), Oscar winners (Brie Larson) and talented up-and-comers (Jack Reynor, for one) who become wounded within minutes and must fight for survival after a gun deal between two gangs goes bad.
For a film that involves most of its characters crawling around with bullet holes in their bodies trying to kill each other, the acting is in a class above the rest. Free Fire is bound to be the crowning achievement of this year's Midnight Madness programme.
(Elevation Pictures)

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