Short Review: ‘Free Fire’ (2016)

A one-trick pony.

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What begins as a film with punchy promise soon becomes a dull shoot-out. This is unfortunate, because Free Fire is loaded with potential, especially given the intriguing early scenes of the film. There’s the fantastic arms deal set-up, which introduces us to each of the characters (some more distinct than others), as tensions escalate over a stock mix-up. Then there’s the delightfully uneasy moment that the guns are tested, and characters visibly jump. How disappointing, then, that when bullets start flying for real, all excitement is lost. Irritatingly, characters are slow to die and never seem to die properly. They rarely change cover, and when they do it actually breathes a little bit of life into the film. Mildly silly one-liners are bandied about here and there, but quickly lose their ability to crack a smile. Free Fire is a film that overstays its welcome, and makes you forget that it was even welcome in the first place.