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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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