Free Fire Blu-ray Review

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The Movie: 8/10
I didn’t want to like it. I didn’t want to appreciate it. I didn’t want to take up my Saturday afternoon watching it and talking about it on our podcast….and then I watched it. I am not known for any ease in my ability to admit when I’m wrong, but sometimes I’m happy to do just that. Why didn’t I want to see it? I have no idea really. I saw the cover and in spite of my policy to never judge a movie/book by its cover….I did just that. I’m not a big gun-play fan. It gets so boring and monotonous after a few seconds. I just had the feeling I was in for a LONG shootout and it would make me want to escape in my mind and pretend I was re-watching something amazing like Wizard of Oz:)

And then it began, this movie I mean. The vibe was right. The characters were right, even if they were a bit cartoonish at times. The setting was right. The music was right. I was quickly realizing I should stick to the “don’t judge” policy more strictly.

It’s not a complicated story. We are introduced to a couple different groups of people, a sale of weapons from one high-strung dude to an Irish dude wanting the guns for the IRA. This is a period piece after all, set in mid 1900’s, the 70’s to be exact. Oh, the browns and bell bottoms shine so brightly in this movie. Back to the story, it is basic, but I dig it…can you dig it?

Everyone is a jerk, basically, out for themselves but under the guise of doing the deal together. We only have one woman in the mix, and she’s pretty awesome. I like that she is part of it all. Some Nimrod didn’t just write in a woman to be pretty or bring that female touch to the screen, whatever that is. She is pivotal to what’s happening from her relationship with the players doing the deal to her own motivation for getting out of the Free Fire alive.

Which brings me to the guns, lots and lots of guns. Once the bullets start flying it really is a free for all. We get bullets in legs, skimming snazzy suits, and all other places you can think of on the human body. There is what seems like realistic bloodfest, the sounds are amazing, the grunts and groans as the entire cast eventually ends up crawling on their bellies to escape their lead filled fate. How do you make a movie in which everyone is crawling in the dirt on the floor of an abandoned warehouse interesting? I don’t know what the magic was with Free Fire, but it worked for me.

I had a good time, liked the characters. Oh yea, there were men in it too, lots of men, lots of lapels. I would watch it again actually, just to get straight exactly who shoots who and when… is a free fire after all and it can get confusing.

Features: 5/10

  • Audio Commentary By Ben Wheatley, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor
  • The Making Of Free Fire (15 Minutes) – An EPK style featurette that has a few good interviews with the director.
  • UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
Even though I did really enjoy the movie, the cover is still kind of boring for me. I was not interested in the movie, admittedly, because of the cover and it isn’t better now that I’ve seen it. I wouldn’t have it as a poster, but I would have the log of the umbrella factory on my wall.

Audio & Video: 7/10
Free Fire shoots its way to Blu-ray courtesy of a 1080P AVC transfer in 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Free Fire takes place during the night in one location that is pretty dimly lit. The transfer and color grading here had me scratching my head at times as sometimes it was way too dark and sometimes a yellow tinge takes over the picture which is obviously grading. It comes off as an inconsistent looking movie and ruins some of the detail we are used to in modern films. I am not saying it looks bad but it looks like an old 1970’s film and perhaps that is what the director intended.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix makes up for the disappointing picture with gunfire literally coming from all directions throughout most of the run-time. Dialog is very clean and central at all times which makes it easy to hear the heavy accents used here without resorting to subtitles.

Overall Score 8/10