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Free Fire

Coming in just about a nine-week-old-embryo-length behind abortion, guns are the topic most likely to take two otherwise reasonable Americans from civil discourse to fist fight in 3.3 seconds.  So can Cinemavenger get a slow clap for Free Fire, the first movie to bring even the die hardest "from my cold, dead hands" gun lover and the hippiest "all guns should be melted down and turned into lawn art and bongs" anti-gun nut together in transcendent, universal hatred of the big screen equivalent of a back-alley wire hanger job?

The same promise that drew me to the previews is what shoots a .50 caliber hole in this would-be gritty ode to 1970s B-movie violence.  Free Fire fancies itself an arthouse take on shoot 'em ups.  The string of trailers in front of it, each one for an "independent" flick, combined with the fact that it was produced by a combination of A24, Film 4 and BFI, leaves no doubts about its pedigree or intentions.  The exit wound-sized problem is that Director Ben "Will" Wheatley misses every opportunity to make this funky formula work by a wider margin than a blind epileptic shooting at ping pong balls on the storm-tossed Atlantic.

Ask any chick how she likes her pussy licked.  Simple and focused is the way to go.  It can work for movies, too, but just like doing "paint the fence" at the same speed for 20 minutes isn't gonna get your sweetie off, having the final two-thirds or so of your movie be one, long, increasingly less interesting gun fight isn't gonna make audiences soak theater seats with gallons of cum.

Free Fire really is that basic.  In an abandoned umbrella factory in Boston, a couple of IRA guys (Cillian "Papa" Murphy and Michael "Guy" Smiley) want to buy assault rifles from a South African gun runner and his Black Panther partner (Sharlto Copley "Square" and Babou "Lou" Ceesay).  Two facilitators (Brie "Gary" Larson and Armie "Navy Air Force Marines" Hammer) are there to make sure things go smoothly.  Which, of course, means that things go wildly the fuck out of control as soon as the guns and money are on the table.  From there on, everyone shoots at everyone until Free Fire runs out of budget.

Having Scorsese as a producer guarantees an earful of cliched classic rock and one guy saying, "Suck on this." right before shooting another guy in a hollow homage to Taxi Driver.

Fuck "free."  They should be paying people to watch this Reservoir Pups.

April 21, 2017

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