Thoughts on new trailer for Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire

Let’s get one thing clear; I love Ben Wheatley. (High-RiseSightseersKill List). I haven’t seen many of his films mainly because I saw Kill List when I was far too young and it pretty much traumatised me, the image of I-think-Micheal-Smiley-but-I-Haven’t-Rewatched-The-Film-Yet-So-I’m-Not-Sure taking off the bandage of an infected would has really stayed with me, but on reflection, I don’t think my at-the-time hatred of Kill List was right, I think the film was doing exactly what it was meant to do. The film starts off almost as a dark comedy, in the way that the ‘funny how’ scene in Goodfellas is kind of funny, but the film slowly spills over into horror, and it’s bloody terrifying, the atmosphere is almost mephitic. and then last year High-Rise came out and I thought that I’d give Ben Wheatley another chance. Now I didn’t love it but I liked it and it stayed with me, and then I re-watched it, and liked it a whole lot more. 

I think at the end of the day, I like the idea of Ben Wheatley, he makes uncompromising, interesting genre films that show interesting people. He works in this interesting hole between horror and comedy in a completely different, more straight faced, more scary in the ‘this will eat away at you’ sense than someone like Sam Raimi, (The Evil Dead, Drag Me to Hell). This new film looks not different, and banterous gangster flick it seems no surprise to see Martic Scorcese, (Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Wolf of Wall Street) attached as it looks something the now-legend would have directed in his younger days, I’ve already referenced that Wheatly may have been influenced by Scorcese before, although I’d point more to someone like Ken Russel, (The Devils, Women in Love, Altered States), or in something like High-Rise, something like Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, a film which Wheatley himself has professed to loving .

I almost universally already like the cast, I was one of the few non-gamer defenders of Sharlto Copley film Hardcore Henry, and District 9 is a fine piece of work. Armie Hammer is great in The Social Network and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and this film looks like a perfect vehicle for his charismatic charms after the turgidity of The Lone Ranger, (and I have a fond affection for the TV show). Brie Larson is the obvious star attraction, in true hipster fashion I havn’t seen her Oscar winning performance in Room but my mum and sister tell me it’s fabulous, I have however seen her in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and she’s fabulous in that too. However the real attraction for me here in Cillian Murphy who I have never disliked in a film. From Batman Begins to 28 Days Later… to Peaky Blinders, this man is a real acting talent, who is just on the fringes of stardom but must one day take his pedestal amongst the great pantheon of British acting talent, alongside the likes of Gary Oldman, or Toby Jones. 

It seems after the high sheen of something like High-Rise, Ben Wheatley is ready to play with the big boys with this muscular, gun driven action comedic thriller, and I personally can’t wait. 



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