5 Ways to Prep: Free Fire
By George Rose
April 20, 2017
Once actors have appeared in a couple of movies, they tend to try their hand at producing. Copley’s first attempt at executive producing a movie was Hardcore Henry in 2015, an independent action movie. While this isn’t the best movie for me to recommend for Copley, it’s the most applicable to Free Fire. As I said before, action movies produced by independent studios have the freedom to break the traditional mold and try new things and Hardcore Henry is a perfect example of that. It’s primarily shot in the first person so you aren’t watching actors act; you are the actor. The viewer is Henry and the camera stays behind Henry’s eyes throughout the movie, giving Hollywood its first attempt of what a movie might be like if it was more like a video game.
In one hand, it’s a concept not often used in cinema and for good reason. When you’re playing video games, as I do (Xbox One fan here), you can play the first-person style with ease because you know where the character is about to move so you are well prepared for the effects of that movement. In Hardcore Henry it can be a bit jarring and more than a bit nauseating at times because, unlike video games, you have no idea where Henry is about to go. From a visual standpoint, it was quite amazing to watch an action movie in the first person and it’s something that should be used, albeit sparingly. From a movie standpoint, it’s a novelty that should not be used outside of the occasional scene, because nobody wants to get sick at the movie theater. To watch an action movie for an hour and a half in the first person was tough on the big screen. I have faith it’s more manageable at home on your TV but I saw it in theaters so that’s my memory of it.
However, for what little I have to complain about in terms of the camera movement making me a little sick, Copley saves the day with his many comedic performances as Henry’s ally, Jimmy. Jimmy takes on many different forms in the film (I won’t spoil the reason behind that), showcasing Copley’s range as an actor and comedian. He is a joy to watch in nearly every movie I’ve seen him in and the trailers for Free Fire suggest he will continue his hot streak as one of the Hollywood’s most underused talents working today.
3) High-Rise (2015)
Oh my God, enough with 2015 already! What’s the deal here? It was a breakout year for Brie Larson, it was Sharlto Copley’s year to try producing, and it’s the same year High-Rise came out. What’s the connection here? Well, I already recommended a movie from the actor and actress of Free Fire”, so it’s time to make my director’s recommendation. In doing some research for Free Fire, I’ve gotten to know its director, Ben Wheatley, a little better. He directed some TV stuff and a handful of British movies: Down Terrace in 2009, Kill List” in 2011, Sightseers in 2012, and “A Field in England” in 2013. I had never heard of any of these because I’m a mainstream Hollywood junkie and am not as well versed in foreign films, even if British films are the least foreign of all since we both speak English.