Free Guy (2021)

Quick Reviews/Favorite Films

Directed by Shawn Levy

Written by Matt Lieberman & Zak Penn

Story by Matt Lieberman

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Joe Keery, & Taika Waititi

Release Date: August 13, 2021

Running Time: 1hr 55min

Rated: PG-13

In the open world video game Free City, Guy (Reynolds) is a non-player character (NPC) working as a bank teller. Thanks to a program developed by programmers Millie (Comer) and Keys (Keery) inserted into Free City by the publisher Antwan (Waititi), Guy becomes self-aware of his world being a video game, and takes steps to make himself the hero, creating a race against time to save the game before the developers can shut it down.

Following a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Free Guy was theatrically released in the United States on August 13, 2021, in RealD 3D, IMAX and Dolby Cinema by 20th Century Studios. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who compared it favorably as a combination of Ready Player One, The Matrix, The Lego Movie, and Grand Theft Auto.

I was definitely looking forward to this one, as I am a big fan of Ryan Reynolds, plus I enjoy video game set worlds. I’m a casual gamer at best (especially compared to my friends), but I definitely got many of the tropes being used throughout the film. I did have a bit of worry early on, because there have been many instances of a great idea like this being ruined (like with Pixels, basically a giant middle finger to gamers). Thankfully, early praise, plus my own instincts won me over into seeing it. I’m so glad I did!

Free Guy takes its crazy premise and uses it to (I think) the fullest potential! I don’t think anyone else could’ve played Guy as well as Reynolds, who makes the character instantly likable with his constant upbeat attitude. While the action is definitely exciting, my favorite moments are Guy just growing as a character and wanting more from life than his daily routine (something I think most can relate to).

The rest of the cast are also lots of fun, especially Waititi as the mega douche CEO of the company that runs Free City. The effects are spectacular, plus being a video game you can forgive any moments that might look glitchy as that’s common with the medium. I’m also a sucker for the premise of what it means to be real and alive even when something was artificially created (reminding me a lot of movies like Short Circuit and The Iron Giant, both very positive things in my book).

Absolutely you should see this! I just saw it and already know it’ll be among my favorites.

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