In “Free Guy,” a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way…before it is too late.
What We Thought:
I had been looking forward to Free Guy for over a year now. I’m a big Ryan Reynolds fan and have been ever since Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. It also shot in my home state of Massachusetts in 2019 and I know a bunch of people who worked on the film including someone dear to my heart. It’s a comedy based around a video game world with a lead actor I enjoy and it has personal ties to myself so I was all in on it. And I’m 100% happy to report, it not only met expectations, it surpassed them.
Going into the film you expect a lot of laughs. Reynolds is one of the better comedic leading men of the past 15 plus years. Whether it’s an action comedy like Deadpool or more straight forward comedies like Just Friends and Waiting…, the good looking Canadian gets laughs. Lil Rel Howery is a funny guy as well and trailers for the movie made it seem like there was some great chemistry with him and Reynolds and there is. Neither disappoints in the film with both playing video game characters with set personalities until the game starts changing.
Then there is Jodie Comer. The Killing Eve star gets to open up and do more than usual in the film. She has some funny one-liners in Killing Eve and does action in the critically praised show as well, but here she gets to do everything. She also has great chemistry with Reynolds as she tries to find some information in the video game world that she needs in the real world. She does over the top action in the video game aspects and gets to land jokes as well, but she also brings heart to the film. Playing the duo role of Molotov Girl in the video game world and Millie in the real world, her character has the most to do as she struggles to save Guy and the video game and get the information she needs to fight the video game company she thinks stole her idea.
It’s that heart that surprised me. It definitely has much more charm and genuineness in it than I thought it would. With it being a movie that takes place in a video game setting you might expect a sort of dumb, sophomoric comedy. And sure it has some of that, but like The Truman Show, you grow to care about these characters even though you know they aren’t necessarily real. As the “Guy” character grows and becomes our hero, the movie cuts to the “real world” to show people rooting for Guy. It uses YouTube and streaming personalities that gamers will know to add to that real world experience. Gamers will love the movie, but even if you don’t know who Ninja and other personalities are, you won’t miss a beat.
I absolutely adored Free Guy. I saw it a few nights ago and I’d go see it again now. It is even better than I wanted it to be and I had pretty high expectations. If you are from Massachusetts you’ll go crazy watching it. From Chinatown to Revere Beach, it shows off Boston very well without having anything to do with Boston. Joe Kerry, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Taika Waititi get laughs and there are a couple of great cameos and product placements as well. The film was initially supposed to come out in 2020, but like everything else last year, it was delayed. I’m curious to see what differences they made in the flick over the past year with Disney fully taking over Fox. There are a couple of weapons from other Disney properties that will have people laughing that I’d assume weren’t in a 2020 edit. I hope the filmmakers will pad the 4K/Blu-ray release with bonus features with that type of information when it hits physical media. If you want a charming and funny movie, then go root for Blue Shirt Guy because Free Guy is…
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Taika Waititi, “Free Guy” is directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn and a story by Lieberman. The film is produced by Ryan Reynolds, p.g.a., Shawn Levy, p.g.a., Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti and Adam Kolbrenner with Mary McLaglen, Josh McLaglen, George Dewey, Dan Levine and Michael Riley McGrath serving as executive producers.