Sep 11, 2016

Trailing Off: "Free Fire" (2017)

Brie Larson
Welcome to the weekly column Trailing Off in which I take a look at a trailer from the past week and analyze its potential. This will be done using an obnoxious amount of analyzing and personal thoughts on the cast and crew as well as expectations. Coming every Sunday (it's called Trailing Off for a reason), I will attempt to highlight films ranging from new blockbusters to lesser known indies and give them their due. Partially to spread awareness, I do believe that there is an art to the sell and will do my best to highlight why these trailers matter or don't with approval (trove) or disapproval (trash). So please stop by, recommend some trailers, and I will see you next time.

Trailer in Discussion

Directed By: Ben Wheatley 
Written By: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Starring: Enzo Silenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley

- Preamble -

After over a month off, I am hoping to return for good with Trailing Off. With the Oscar season heating up, I can only imagine that this season is going to have its fair share of winners in the trailer department. For the returning entry, I am deciding to do Free Fire, which is a film from a pretty good director called Ben Wheatley. While not a household name, he has done some excellent work in the past, such as Sightseers and A Field in England. To me, he's one of those oddball names that even if his films aren't always great, he's always challenging himself to do new and interesting things.
In this case, he is going for his second movie in 2016: Free Fire. I don't know much about it, but it does star last year's Oscar winner Brie Larson. One can only imagine that her coming off of Room will result in some interesting work. I do hope that this shows her range and gives her the chance to be both a top notch prestige actress as well as a weirdo favorite. She definitely has the chops for it, and I do think that she deserved more credit than she did get long before Room. Whatever the case may be, she is one of the driving forces to me wanting to see this film.
Otherwise, it is a Wheatley film, and I can only imagine that it will be a whole lot of fun. He doesn't make dull movies. He may make head scratchers, but what you do scratch will puzzle you in an exciting way. I still need to see High Rise, but otherwise I am looking forward to this. Speaking as I am going blind into this trailer, I can only imagine what it will be about. Will it be surreal and violent, or just visually playful? One can only imagine. For now, I just have to suck it up and watch the trailer to find out. Fingers crossed that it's good.

- Dissection -

Well, that definitely delivered on the weird factor. If I can be totally honest, there's something that's easy when you have good editing and a rocking soundtrack. Most of the times, it comes across as a generic choice. However, there is something to the retro style that works in Wheatley's favor. It could be that everything else seems so inexplicably deranged, but it makes you want to see more. Why is this world so violent and full of life? If this is essentially Reservoir Dogs with nonstop shooting, then it may be one of the weirdest violent films in recent years.
If nothing else, it's exciting to see that Brie Larson's follow-up to Room is just as unexpected as they come. She is working with an acclaimed director doing a shoot 'em up film that looks to be seeing the dirtier side of her. She definitely fits into the world somehow, and I cannot wait to see what she does. However, it is the supporting cast who seem to have the most laughable lines in the trailer. You come away wanting to see what they'll do. Whatever the case may be, it's a strong cast for something that sounds rather trivial.
Finally, I will admit that I was a Sharlto Copley fan after District 9. It's been painful to realize how one note he actually is. I'm not saying he's bad at times, but he definitely lacks the appeal and promise of an actor who made one of the more intriguing sci-fi films of the last decade. In seven years, he's pretty much made hokey films that don't always make sense. I guess there's no shame in going the Nicholas Cage route, but I don't know that Copley will ever be more than weirdo actor. On the bright side, I am glad that someone called him out on his accent. It definitely is... strange.

- One Sentence Sell -

Ben Wheatley's latest film is basically if Reservoir Dogs was a shoot 'em up in a British warehouse, with more rocking tunes.

- Trove or Trash -

As I previously mentioned, I like Wheatley's style, and I am glad to see him work with Larson. I only hope the payoff is worth it.

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