Free Fire, Film Review. Picturehouse@F.A.C.T., Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Cast: Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, Babou Ceesay, Noah Taylor, Jack Reynor, Mark Monero, Patrick Bergin, Sara Dee, Tom Davis.

A film in which so much happens in the space of 90 minutes can either leave you so breathless that it will make you forget most of what has transpired on screen or reeling from the shock of it all that it stays with you forever; imprinted into your mind like a seared brand and smouldering long into the memory. These are the films that you want to see again because you know deep down that in between each involuntary blink, you missed so much, so much reference to the greatness that has unfolded; these are the films to absolutely love and defend to the death.

A film such as Free Fire does not come along all that often, one whose aim is unquestionable and sublime, a frenzy, a showcase for modern cinema and one that simply blows the audience away.

The film is a catalogue, a fine blue print which is laid down for others to follow in the future, the sharpness of the script is in tandem with the descending feel of how quickly humanity can tear itself apart when weapons are involved and it should perhaps be noted that Free Fire is a microcosm of the insanity that takes place around the world every day, that people chasing guns is never a good idea, that it can only lead to the inevitable, Free Fire understands this and is at great pains to show the after affects as well as the understandable initial sense of elation that comes from such machismo. Like a giant game, the fallout is devastating.

Free Fire has within its sights several great performances, some arguably unexpected, one that sits exactly where you know it will be. For Brie Larson the film is yet another stepping stone on the road to stardom, this very astute and superb actor has climbed up the ladder so rapidly that some might suggest a breath should be taken but this woman is truly prolific and brings great satisfaction to every role and is perhaps only second to Scarlett Johansson in terms of female dominance on the screen.

Also turning in super performances are the equally likeable Armie Hammer as the urban cool Ord, Cillian Murphy as Irish Republican Chris and Sharlto Copley as the oily and charmless Vernon; parts that enhance the film to an extraordinary level.

A free for all, a film in which the rules of engagement seem to have been dismissed, fired for not being relevant to the situation and in its wake a powerful, unforgettable and insanely cool situation arises; everything from the dialogue to the mastery of the focusing shot works and does so with precision. Free Fire is simple, elegant and rapid, bang on target and without a second to waste, it would be foolish to miss out on the fun and the fury.

Ian D. Hall