Free Fire (2016)

So, Free Fire

I like Ben Wheatley in the same way that I like Neil Marshall, I like that he’s there doing his thing.  I’m a big fan of his High Rise (it’s not Ballard’s, which I also love) and Kill List.  His other films not so much but I’m glad someone is making them.  I’m also excited by the idea of Freak Shift and an oft mentioned remake of Wages of Fear.  But I’m here because of Free Fire, his arms deal gone bad gunfight movie.  It’s been sold by various reviews as ‘stylish’ and so on but it’s not really.  It’s a film about a bunch of unlikable people being unlikable that looks a bit too clean to be as disreputable as it might think it is.

And yet I still quite liked it. It moved along, I knew where everyone was in relation to each other and I wanted to know who would be left standing.  Plus the actors are all quite good at being Frank Miller characters.

Had I first seen this film on ‘pan and scan’ VHS when I was too young to watch it then it may have been something really special.  As it stands it’s a good watch but a better poster.

Advertisements

Film: Kill List (2011)

Ben Wheatley is like a secret treasure. He’s not a household name (yet) but he’s been quietly building a collection of macabre and uniquely British movies. Horror can be found in all these films, the bloody family implosion of Down Terrace, the mushroom induced mania of A Field in England, but perhaps the most overt is Kill List, an unsettling tale of hitmen and, well I won’t spoil it. Kill List works because it spirals into a dreamlike state without ever becoming overly stylized. It’s an oppressive, suffocating film with some genuinely tough violence but, like Martyrs, rewards perseverance. Kill List is possibly the best British film of the past decade and this is the guy who’ll be kicking off Peter Capaldi’s turn as Dr Who… ‘excited’ doesn’t really cover it.