Dunkirk seemed like a strange choice for Christopher Nolan‘s next feature, since he’s a director known for his abstract sci-fi features and clever plot twists. Box office predictors and audiences didn’t know what to make of the war epic about a relatively obscure (to American audiences) World War II evacuation, with some estimating that it would be his lowest-grossing movie in years.
But if the reviews are anything to go by, Dunkirk may be Nolan’s most stunning achievement yet. Dunkirk is being met by some of the most enthusiastic praise of Nolan’s career — and indeed, many critics are calling it the filmmaker’s best movie so far.
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There’s more than meets the eye with some of the characters in Free Fire. They can reveal shades of humanity you wouldn’t immediately expect at the start of Ben Wheatley‘s action-comedy. Some characters, on the other hand, like Vernon (Sharlto Copley), can be chalked up to “what you see is what you get.”
That’s not the case with Justine, played by Academy Award winner Brie Larson (Room), who is calmer than most during Wheatley’s 85-minute shootout. Justine tries to keep others from losing their heads as hers remains firmly planted on her shoulders.
Wheatley’s movie is contained and set mostly in one location, but it still leaves you with a sense of who the characters are outside of the abandoned warehouse. We recently sat down with Larson and discussed what sort of person Justine is outside of the film, what it’s like shooting in chronological order, and more. Spoilers for the film lie ahead.
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The distinction between heroes and villains isn’t as clear in Free Fire as most action movies. And it’s partly because co-writer/director Ben Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump give all their characters lives outside of the shootout – lives you want to see them find a way to escape back to. Out of the ensemble, some eggs are more rotten than others, but for the most part, Free Fire is a movie in which we’re rooting the characters to find a solution, not kill each other.
Over the span of 85 minutes – a glorious runtime in this day and age – not one of the characters rings as false in Free Fire. Their pain feels real because they feel real. Jump and Wheatley rarely give these characters any breaks, either. The writers bring a heavy dose of physical comedy to the film to go along with some brutal carnage.
We recently sat down with Wheatley, the director behind Kill List and High-Rise, for a brief conversation about his new movie.
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If you’re lucky, this weekend brings the action shoot’em up flick Free Fire to a theater near you. It’s the latest film from High Rise and Sightseers director Ben Wheatley. But don’t worry if you think the filmmaker’s work is a little too weird or twisted for your tastes, because this is easily his most accessible film yet.
Free Fire follows a black market arms deal gone wrong in 1970s Boston as an IRA buyer (Cillian Murphy) and a South African gun runner (Sharlto Copley) end up in a gun fight in the middle of an abandoned warehouse, with both their sides exchanging shots, trying to get the money and attempting to make it out alive. It’s relentlessly brutal, but it’s also extremely funny, as evidenced by a new clip from the movie that will probably make District 9 fans grin a bit.
Watch the Free Fire clip below. Read More »
If there’s one character who stays calm in most of Free Fire, it’s Ord. The American criminal is as well-composed as his swanky gray jacket and black turtleneck. Rarely is Ord the character shouting and screaming in director Ben Wheatley‘s (High-Rise) new, 85-minute-long shoot ’em up..
Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump don’t waste a second of Free Fire‘s runtime, which couldn’t come at a more right time before some bloated action movies arrive this summer. The film is as lively as some of its characters, most of whom you’d like to see make it out of the warehouse. Especially Ord.
We recently discussed the role with actor Armie Hammer, who also told us a bit about the character’s backstory, working with Wheatley, and more.
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This year has already brought us the brutal gunplay of John Wick: Chapter 2, but there’s another shootout on the way this spring.
Free Fire is the latest film from director Ben Wheatley (High Rise, Sightseers, Kill List), and it looks like his most accessible, too. Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Noah Taylor, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley and Jack Reynor all find themselves in a grimy warehouse with a weapons deal gone wrong, resulting in a feature-length shootout that is just as hilarious as it is energetic and wild.
Watch the new Free Fire trailer below to see what we’re talking about, but beware that there’s some NSFW language in this one. Read More »
Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The impending arrival of new Ben Wheatley movie is always a cause for celebration. The genius (yes, I’ll break out the “G” word) behind films like Kill List, Sightseers, and High-Rise has been a favorite of mine for years, leaping between genres while maintaining his signature dark comedy and unflinching ability to sell genuine pain and terror. His new film, Free Fire, is built around a premise that is simultaneously old school and high concept: two groups of criminals in 1970s Boston arrange an arms deal in an old warehouse, things go south, guns are drawn…and they proceed to engage in a gun battle that plays out over the course of the entire movie, mostly in real time.
The first Free Fire trailer has arrived (in bloody, NSFW red band form!) and you can check it out below.
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Right now Christopher Nolan is working on a World War II drama called Dunkirk about Operation Dynamo, which saw the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of British, French, Belgian, Polish and Dutch soldiers in the title French city after being completely surrounded by German forces. Cillian Murphy is reteaming with Nolan for the film, but before we get to see a frame of Dunkirk, we’ll get to see the Batman Begins star carry out another famous World War II operation.
Anthropoid tells the true story of the operation of the same name which tasked two Czech soldiers (Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan) with assassinating SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the Reich’s third in command after Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. See how the mission comes together in the first Anthropoid trailer after the jump. Read More »
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ben Wheatley is one of the most exciting filmmakers working today and I look forward to each of his movies like a kid looks forward to Christmas. I named Kill List one of my fifteen favorite movies of all time. I think High-Rise, which is currently available on VOD and hits theaters this week, is an astonishing (if divisive) achievement. I have a Sightseers poster on my office wall. I’m in the tank for the man.
So yes, I’m very much looking forward to his next film, Free Fire, which is finished and awaiting a release date as we speak. In the meantime, we can enjoy the first image from the movie, which shows off the awesome ensemble in some colorful duds.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Dunkirk may feature a crew of newcomers at the center of its cast, but director Christopher Nolan is filling in the margins with as many impressive actors as he can. The latest actor to join this World War II drama is Cillian Murphy, the Irish actor who already who already has a long history with Nolan, having appeared in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Inception. At this rate, Dunkirk is rapidly shaping up to be a regular Christopher Nolan film-set-family reunion.
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