Free Guy Review
In a world where COVID-19 didn’t exist, Free Guy might have won some sort of big award by now. Having been delayed for no less than a year, Ryan Reynolds’ new movie was released this past weekend to rave reviews. In the past, movies inspired by video games have had a very spotty record. Some, like Sonic the Hedgehog and Detective Pikachu, succeed. Others, like Assassin’s Creed and Super Mario Bros., crash and burn. HARD! However, Free Guy manages to avoid this infamous pitfall, pun intended and produces some of Ryan Reynold’s best work ever.
Seriously, is there nothing that Ryan Reynolds can’t do at this point?
What is Free Guy?
If you haven’t been paying attention to all the marketing that Disney’s done for 20th Century Studios (formerly known as 20th Century Fox), Free Guy is a film about Guy. He’s a normal guy who works in a normal bank in Free City, which is home to all kinds of violent psychos. Except it’s not a real city: it’s an open-world video game. And Guy happens to one of its NPC’s doing as he was programmed. But when an encounter with a certain girl causes him to become self-aware, he sets out to make his home a better place to live. That is something that doesn’t sit well with Antwan, the selfish and greedy CEO of the gaming company that runs Free City, who throws everything he has to stop Guy.
As far as premises go, Free Guy’s essentially a mash-up of Ready Player One meets Grand Theft Auto. And it may be just me reading too much into it, the idea of an NPC in a virtual world developing sentience reminds me of Sword Art Online: Alicization. The big difference is that in SAO: Alicization, the world’s creators were trying to create a self-aware AI. In Free Guy, it happens by accident because the villainous CEO used the stolen code for a game meant to encourage that kind of development
Accident or not, though, it’s clear that the people who made Free Guy did their homework. They understood the basics behind creating video games and frequently found concepts within them, which they incorporated into the story. If you’re a gamer, you’ll notice it, while non-gamers won’t be put off by everything. In addition, the filmmakers went the extra mile by collaborating with real-life gamers and streamers like JackSepticEye, Ninja, Pokimane, and more. In other words, the film knew what it was doing.
Ryan Reynolds at his Best
Sometimes, a film’s overall success or failure can come down to the actors in the film. Getting the right actor to play the lead roles can end up making or breaking a film. And having Ryan Reynolds play Guy made this film.
Ever since the success of Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds’ become one of the most popular actors in the world. The combination of his quirky sense of humor, good looks, and mastery of comedy make him perfect for the role of Guy. Take the trailer, for example. The fact that he can talk about how happy he is with life in Free City amidst the violence is heartwarmingly hilarious and so genuine. And as the film continues, Ryan gets to unleash his inner Deadpool. Free Guy sees his character go from being a normal NPC to being a total badass, mowing down gamers left and right. In many ways, Guy is essentially a PG-13-rated version of Deadpool, which is way more awesome than it sounds.
Every Gamer Needs to Go and Watch Free Guy
It’s no secret that the film industry’s been hit hard by COVID-19. films like Godzilla vs. Kong and Black Widow that should have brought in far more money have had to rake in far less profit. Meanwhile, the increasing popularity of streaming’s puts a strain on the industry by undercutting it even further. Yet Disney made the decision to make it a theatrical-exclusive release. That’s a big risk thanks to COVID! However, after seeing Free Guy, I think it’s worth the risk.
I love Free Guy! It’s one of the best video-game movies ever made, it’s some of Ryan Reynolds’s best acting, and it’s just plain fun. If you’re a gamer or you know someone who’s a gamer, then, please, for the love of all that is holy, do yourself a favor and go see Free Guy. Just like Guy, this film’s a precious cinnamon bun and deserves as much love as it can get!