I don’t think it’s spoiling anything to say that Sharlto Copley is the best part of Ben Wheatley‘s “Free Fire.” The only character in the film who seems to have no clue how a gunfight is supposed to work – in one scene in the film, he leads an increasingly anxious line of inquiry about how long it’ll take someone to bleed out – Copley’s character gives the South African actor a chance to dial his normally restrained screen presence (kidding) all the way to eleven. Even in a cast of acclaimed actors like Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Cillian Murphy, Copley’s the one who stands out.

And yeah, that makes this exclusive clip from Wheatley’s film quite the howler. In the middle of a gunfight, Copley decides that his biggest concern is bacterial infection, and… well, watch for yourself and enjoy. We’ve had “Free Fire” on our radar since last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where we called it a “a big, magnificent noise” that marks Wheatley’s most “purely popcorn and wildly enjoyable movie to date.” If your ideal gangster movie is just two groups of men exchanging bullets – and more than a few pointed barbs – for the better part of an hour, you’re going to love having “Free Fire” in your life.

Here’s the full plot synopsis for “Free Fire”:

Set in a colorful yet gritty 1970s Boston, “Free Fire” opens with Justine, a mysterious American businesswoman, and her wise-cracking associate Ord arranging a black-market weapons deal in a deserted warehouse between IRA arms buyer Chris and shifty South African gun runner Vernon. What starts as a polite if uneasy exchange soon goes south when tensions escalate and shots are fired, quickly leading to a full-on Battle Royale where it’s every man (and woman) for themselves.

In addition to the cast mentioned above, “Free Fire” also features Sam Riley, Jack ReynorBabou Ceesay, Noah Taylor, and Michael Smiley. The film is now playing in theaters everywhere.

By the way, here’s the rather amusing Ben Wheatley message to A24 email subscribers that’s going out later today. Pretty funny stuff.

Hey A24 newsletter people, thanks for reading this.

I know theres a lot of movies to see this weekend… There are blowing up cars, talking candlesticks, and robot ladies who are confused about if they are real or if they are robots or something. But also thanks to the great men and women at A24 there is also a film called FreeFire.

Free Fire has many things going for it… It is under 90 minutes! Which means more time at the bar. It has Brie Larson swearing like a docker. It has Armie Hammer in the same beard he had in Birth of a Nation. It has many many laughs… which are needed in these dark and desperate times.

This film has also been proven scientifically to make you smarter (through its clever subtexts) but can also be enjoyed on the surface level (like all those action films that got you liking movies in the first place). It has Sharlto Copley acting in his actual accent (though maybe a slightly higher pitched version). And the film also features the work of John Denver and The Real Kids.

This, I’m sure you agree, is a compelling set of reasons to see Free Fire tonight, then return on Saturday with your friends, and then visit a matinee on Sunday with your elderly relations.

Thank you,
Ben Wheatley.
Director of Free Fire