09/04/17, Free Fire
Two teams, one warehouse at night time, somewhere in Boston. The premise is clear, the gun deal falls apart as people start shooting at each other, everyone sucked into a gun battle, everyone soon covered in dust and blood, crawling and limping around, shouting to each other and at each other. Confusion really starts to reign as two hitmen appear in the shadows, apparently trying to shoot at both sides. 'They're not with us – are they with you?' 'They're not with us; I thought they were with you.' 'No.' Full of absurdist dialogue and painful slapstick, it's a scenario I'd like to see done on stage, though ideally with these actors. Speaking of which . . .
Sharlto Copley steals it, produces one of the funniest performances I can remember at the cinema. There is comedy done in comedy, then there's comedy in this kind of absurdist violence, and I find this latter one funnier. He plays a loud South African, so provocatively annoying that he's described early on as having been 'misdiagnosed as a child genius . . . he never got over it.' It's a brilliant line that sums up the character and the film, funny and fatal, gruesome and laugh-out-loud. The characters, meanwhile, are believably worried or stupid, they are hitmen who don't want to be hit.
Fashion comment: I also loved the 1970s style of the film. I liked Brie Larson's outfit, brown leather boots with thick heels, the long brown handbag, the blue coat and the scarf. I thought: 'Thank God I came out as transgender, I can now dress like that.' Then I remembered I don't have money, and I can't dress like that.I don't know if I'd watch it again. The funniness and drama comes from the unexpected, it's not a film that does depth, the twist at the end is almost irrelevant. But when we talk about watching a film and just switching off, being entertained in one giant stylized human-driven fuck-up, it's hard to think of a film that does that better than Free Fire. Compared to the glossy, pretentious over-styled John Wick 2, with its faceless casualties in the mind-numbing dozens, this is less gun porn than fire-arm romance under the moonlight.