In Free Fire, two gangs battle it out in a deserted Boston warehouse in the 1970s.
This action comedy is filmed entirely in a warehouse. These close quarters familiarize us with each character very fast. They also keep us invested in each character throughout the film.
Keeping the immediate setting of a movie in a confined area is very efficient. This approach is used in the movie Wheelman and helps us continuously feel the stress of the getaway driver.
But unlike Wheelman, Free Fire follows multiple characters. Because of this, we don’t become invested in anyone. We’re just interested in the race to the phone (to call for backup) or to the van (to escape with the money).
And there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s what makes it a comedy. Put simply: It’s a race instead of a story.
Every character gets shot in this movie. And if they’re not shot dead, they’re shot in the limb.
This ultimately leads to characters dragging themselves along the dirt ground, moving from one barrier to the next. Sometimes they use props like wire spindles and wagon carriers for shields while on the move.
When these shields don’t work out and the characters get shot, the injuries they incur are believable. They’re not always shot dead.
For instance, one man gets grazed in the brain and, after “falling asleep” for an hour, wakes up. He then goes on a shooting spree before dropping dead for good.
Another man gets lit on fire and, after extinguishing the flames, sits down, sizzling like a hot steak, still alive enough to hold his ground with a handgun.
And this represents the state of almost everyone: alive enough to hold their ground.
Watch this if you’re in the mood for something funny that involves an hour-plus-long gunfight.