Programme

Free Fire

Ben Wheatley

France, United Kingdom, 2016 / 90 min / English OV with FR & NL subtitles / Action, Thriller, Drama

The most epic shootout ever. 

In a colourful yet gritty 1970s Boston, a mysterious American businesswoman, Justine, and her wise-cracking associate Ord arrange a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse between IRA arms buyer Chris and shifty South African gun runner Vernon. What starts as a polite if uneasy exchange soon goes south when tensions escalate and shots are fired, quickly leading to a full-on Battle Royale where it’s every man (and woman) for themselves.

 

Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, “Free Fire” is an electrifying comedy-thriller about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Acclaimed filmmaker Ben Wheatley propels the audience head-on into quite possibly the most epic shootout ever seen on film as he crafts a spectacular parody—and biting critique—of the insanity of gun violence.

Screenings
Fri 10/03 19:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR & NL SUBT Public http://ticket.luxembourg-ticket.lu/luxfilmfest/webticket/bestseatselect?eventId=...

“Wheatley’s economy of storytelling is impressive here. There are ten key characters and at least four groups in this story of an arms deal gone wrong, but their personalities and relationships are so briskly established that, when the bullets start flying twenty minutes in, we can predict who each person will target or protect. Or – this being Wheatley – we think we can. Comparisons to Reservoir Dogs are probably inevitable given the warehouse setting, copious firearms and endlessly quotable script, but this is a sleeker and more violent film (though perhaps less sadistic). (…) This is seriously cool, stuffed with great dialogue and riddled with bullets.” Helen O’hare, Empire, 17/10/2016

 

“Cult British filmmaker Ben Wheatley's latest project, Free Fire, brings together a formidable arsenal of big guns, including Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy in key roles, plus Martin Scorsese as executive producer. (…) (a) noisy love letter to vintage action movies. (…) A key pleasure of Free Fire is the wisecracking back-and-forth between characters who aim to wound each other with words as well as bullets, literally adding insult to injury. (…) this stylish carnival of carnage is actually much more like a Quentin Tarantino confection, with its second-hand gangster-movie homages and joyously bloody, consequence-free violence. Indeed, this battle royale-with-cheese shares a strikingly similar tone and setting to Reservoir Dogs. It even has an ironically cheesy '70s hit as a recurring motif: "Annie's Song" by John Denver.” Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, 09/09/2016

 

“A dizzyingly choreographed — and unexpectedly comedic — shoot-’em-up in which the body count hits double digits, while the bullet count proves downright impossible to fathom. A virtuoso feat of indiscriminate gunplay from director Ben Wheatley — who is, without a doubt, the most exciting thing to hit British genre cinema since Guy Ritchie, minus the latter’s eagerness to sell out — this almost cartoonishly over-the-top action movie crosses the irreverent cheekiness of Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” with the ruthless spirit of 1970s B-movies, in which audiences hoped for a few minutes of what “Free Fire” sustains for the better part of 90 minutes. (…) The fact that they could all lay down their weapons and finish the deal heightens Wheatley’s generally irreverent approach, all of which serves to remind that guns don’t kill people; insecure, overcompensating idiots do.” Peter Debruge, Variety, 09/09/2016

 

“To describe Ben Wheatley’s latest picture as a blast doesn’t even come close to capturing the film’s adrenalised assault on the senses. (…) Free Fire could perhaps be read as a satire of America’s celebratory approach to gun culture: the answer to the gun problem is yet more guns. Or it could simply be viewed as a thrill-ride of a movie designed to stir the blood but not engage the mind. Either way, it’s a bruisingly effective piece of entertainment carried by comedy, which hits its targets rather more successfully than the wildly strafing bullets.” Wendy Ide, ScreenDaily, 09/09/2016

Awards
  • People’s Choice Award, Midnight Madness – Toronto International Film Festival, 2016 (Canada)
Cast & Credits
Cast 
Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley
Screenplay 
Amy Jumpy, Ben Wheatley
Cinematographer 
Laurie Rose
Sound 
Martin Pavey
Set 
Liz Griffiths
Music 
Ian Neil
Production 
Film4
Distribution 
Splendid Film BV
Biography

Initially a short film director and animator, Ben Wheatley, born in 1972 in Great Britain, gained a wider audience with his internet viral ads, animations and games. He then turned more mainstream, directing a number of episodes for different BBC series. He debuted in feature films in 2009 with “Down Terrace” and was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes with “Sightseers” (2012). He has also directed several episodes of the series “Doctor Who”. “Free Fire” is his seventh feature film and his second to be screened at the Luxembourg City Film Festival after “High-Rise” in 2016.

Filmography
  • 2016 - Free Fire
  • 2015 - High-Rise
  • 2014 - Doctor Who – Into the Dalek (TV episode)
  • 2014 - Doctor Who – Deep Breath (TV episode)
  • 2013 - A Field in England
  • 2012 - Sightseers
  • 2012 - The ABC’s of Death – U is for Unearthed (segment of an anthology )
  • 2011 - Kill List
  • 2011 - Burge & Way
  • 2010 - Ideal – The Housewarming (TV episodes)
  • 2009 - Down Terrace
  • 2009 - Steve Coogan: The Inside Story
  • 2008 - The Wrong Door (TV episodes)
  • 2008 - Modern Toss (TV episodes)
  • 2007 - Comedy: Shuffle – Amazing Wizard Ben (TV episode)
  • 2006 - Rob Loves Kerry (short)