Gringo’s circuitous narrative never allows for a character or storyline to develop in a particularly efficient way.
Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire reduces the modus operandi of the action movie down to its starkest elements.
Its self-consciously witty dialogue is meant to paper over gratuitous violence with a veneer of nonchalance.
The film’s ruefully honest tone is periodically drowned out by the blare of stagey coincidences.
The film’s unbelievably precise choreography of action seeks to tap into a universal feeling of powerlessness.
Its exasperating atonality washes out any legitimate idea about identity, education, nature versus nurture, or artificial intelligence.
There’s a fascinating video essay waiting to be made on the use of Jolie’s face throughout, but unfortunately, the rest of the film is a CGI sleeping pill.
We may have all wanted to know the story behind those famed horns, but the mystery was far preferable to having Maleficent defanged and declawed in the process.
An unsung 21st-century American noir receives the audio-visual treatment it deserves. But don’t expect much in the way of supplemental context.
Individual moments linger, but Gonzalo López-Gallego’s film is merely a rough draft of a thriller.