"Free Fire is an electrifying action-thriller about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Set in 1970s Boston, the film opens with Justine (Brie Larson), a mysterious American businesswoman, and her wise-cracking associate Ord (Armie Hammer) arranging a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse between IRA arms buyer Chris (Cillian Murphy) and shifty South African gunrunner Vernon (Sharlto Copley). What starts as a polite if uneasy exchange soon goes south when tensions escalate and shots are fired, quickly leading to a full-on battle royale where itís every man (and woman) for themselves." That is the official description for Free Fire, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.
What is obviously an homage to Quentin Tarantino, Free Fire borrows many of its story elements from one of my favorite Tarantino movies, The Hateful Eight. Free Fire begins by introducing us to a few of the characters that will fill out the cast, and then proceeds to have all the characters meet at one destination at which the entire film takes place. In this case, however, we have a few more than eight.
As in The Hateful Eight, all of the characters in Free Fire are, shall we say, less than upstanding citizens and deserve whatever misfortune comes their way. As the film goes on, we learn more about the characters, although the development isn't nearly as deep as it should have been, which makes Free Fire a less appealing film. There's plenty of action and gore as the entire storyline centers around one long gunfight, but the true point of the film is that we all get what's coming to us... or do we? You'll have to watch the ending to find out.
The Free Fire Blu-ray is presented as a MPEG-4 AVC encode with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The picture is clean and clear but detail is lacking a bit in some scenes, possibly because of lighting, although that could be by choice since the film is supposed to be a gritty look at a 1970s crime scene. The audio is presented as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and provides clear dialogue as well as good use of surround and LFE, especially when shots are fired, which is often.
There are only two bonus features consisting of Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Ben Wheatly as well as The Making of Free Fire featurette which as its name implies, takes a look behind-the-scenes of shooting the film.
While Free Fire may provide similar elements as a Tarantino film, it is not on par with the likes of The Hateful Eight. Free Fire is one of those films where some will enjoy it and others won't. It's basically a "who done it" story, and if you focus on that aspect, while simultaneously enjoying the firefight and sometimes humorous banter, you may find it worth a viewing.
For more information, visit:
* Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uN1Zyl
* Website: lionsgate.com