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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Comedy > Drama > Mystery > Murder > Gangster > IRA > Free Fire (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Free Fire (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Film: B

Ben Wheatley's new action/thriller Free Fire (2017) lands on Blu-ray disc and is a surprisingly refreshing thrill ride from start to finish that really surprised me. Featuring a great cast which includes Sharlto Copley (District 9), Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island), Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, and Cillian Murphy (Inception). The film was also notably executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

Free Fire is in some ways comparable to Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, as this shoot-em-up takes place primarily in one location with minimal characters. Starting a bit slow at first, the film really picks up halfway through, with admittedly one of the best third acts and endings I've seen in any action film this year. One effect in particular that involves Copley looked so realistic, I had to rewind and look at it again (you'll know it when you see it). If you like bloody R-rated gun-welding thrillers, then this is one you will need to check out!

Set in 1970s Boston, the film centers on Justine (Larson), a mysterious American businesswoman and a motley crew which includes her wise-cracking bearded associate Ord (Hammer), arrange a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse. The deal goes down with IRA arms buyer Chris (Murphy) and a shifty South African gunrunner Vernon (Copley) and his men. What starts as a polite-if-uneasy exchange soon goes south. Bullets fly and everyone, even if those innocent and just along for the ride, find themselves in mortal danger. Who will be able to get out of this bullet storm alive? And away with the money?

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix, the presentation looks nice and culminates into an enjoyable home theater experience. The film is very dark, dirty, and restricted to limited confines, so it's pretty stunning how cinematic and well it all turned out especially since it was shot using the digital format. I would love to see this on 4K UHD, because they are so many details in the frame, from rubble to bullet holes on the wall, that could all be exposed even better in higher definition. Still, for the format, the film looks pretty good on Blu-ray disc.

Digital Copy is also included, but we get no DVD.

Special Features...

Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Ben Wheatley

"The Making of Free Fire" featurette

Not afraid to get bloody and adult when needed, Free Fire is a fun film for fans of offbeat action and a pleasant surprise after its initial lukewarm box office reception.

- James Lockhart



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