Obviously inspired by Quentin Tarantino's movies, as well as 1970s shoot-'em-ups, this action movie tries to be stripped down and clever, but it only succeeds at being laughably violent. Directed by Ben Wheatley (High-Rise), Free Fire is all 1970s outfits (big collars and lapels, facial hair, tight pants, and polyester), and loud gun sounds. Though the warehouse is an interesting setting (cribbed, clearly, from Reservoir Dogs), Wheatley fails to establish the spatial locations of the characters. When someone fires in one shot, and someone else screams in the next, we have no idea where they were aiming -- or where anyone else is.
Soon, everyone hits the floor, and everyone is a dust-and-blood-and-hair covered figure, crawling on the ground, barely distinguishable from one another. Occasionally it looks as if something clever will happen, such as when the characters discover a working phone in the office, but these things only result in more shooting. The dialogue tries to be witty, but the only thing that clicks is when a character occasionally gives up and simply laughs at the absurdity. Whereas the John Wick movies took violence to such an astoundingly high-pitched level that they became almost existential, Free Fire is far too aware of itself to make any such claims.