“Free Fire” (A24)
By Catholic News Service
The premise of this action comedy is that a single extended gunfight can sustain an entire film, provided the participants in the showdown keep making incongruously funny and mordant remarks. The setup involves a deal to buy assault rifles that quickly goes bad. So the two sides — represented, most prominently, by would-be gun buyer Brie Larson and arms dealer Sharlto Copley — spend the rest of the run time pulling their triggers and reloading while attempting to retrieve a briefcase loaded with cash.
Viewers willing to detach the violent proceedings from real life will discover the occasional humorous moment. But, ultimately, director Ben Wheatley’s film, co-written with Amy Jump, ends up a claustrophobic exercise in mindless conflict.
Pervasive gun and physical violence, fleeting gore, drug use, occasional profanities, constant rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.