Free Guy: A review

Free+Guy+movie+poster.

Free Guy movie poster.

Fun movie! The comedy, action, special effects, and story are all fantastic! 

Free Guy is the latest movie put out by 20th Century Fox Studios, and after several delays, was released Aug. 13, 2021. The film is a PG-13 comedy/action film directed by Shawn Levy, who’s other notable films include the Night at the Museum trilogy and Real Steel. The film received generally warm reviews, with an 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, 62 percent on Metacritic, and a 7.6/10 on IMDb. While having a budget of $100-125 million, the film grossed a worldwide total of $768.2 million since its release five weeks ago. 

The story follows Guy, a bank teller in Free City. When he finds out that he’s actually a background character in a video game, he uses this newfound information to shape his own destiny. Meanwhile, video game programmers Millie and her partner, Keys, are searching the game for evidence of it’s producer, Antwan, stealing their work.

Free Guy movie poster.

The story is creative. I loved the irony of this groundbreaking AI walking around and everybody treating it like it’s just another person playing the game. It made for some great comedy. Scenes didn’t feel rushed, and there’s plenty of time to transition from one thing to the next without dragging out for too long. The climax is thrilling, and the ending is a satisfying conclusion. My biggest issue with the story lies with its antagonist, Antwan. He’s not a fantastic villain. He isn’t intimidating enough to make me feel like he’s a real threat, nor is he an enjoyable enough villain to disregard it. Could he at least have a better motive than ‘I want more money’? It’s not compelling at all and leaves for a really lame villain and character. The fact that he does whatever he wants and doesn’t have a board to answer to is just a little too convenient for the sake of the plot. Another, albeit smaller problem I had is how the game itself functioned

This is probably my favorite Ryan Reynolds role. Guy is such a fun protagonist, and quite relatable too. He never ceased to make me laugh. His delivery and acting made him my favorite character in the film. Jodie Comer did an incredible job bringing the young programmer Millie to life. Same goes for Joe Keery’s portrayal of the funny and somewhat nerdy Keys. Comer and Keery had some great chemistry together on screen which drove both of their characters. Taika Waititi is an incredible actor, but… I felt he got dealt a bad hand in this movie. The antagonist he portrayed, Antwan, is annoying, and didn’t feel like a huge threat, just some corporate buffoon. Something I found neat is the use of real life streamers such as Lazarbeam, Pokimane, and DanTDM in the movie. Their addition felt natural, and not at all cringey or uncomfortable. 

Additionally, this movie is really funny. The characters all play off each other well, and the dramatic irony of players using video game terminology around Guy, to his utter confusion, is hilarious. Visual gags are also employed. An example of which is the fact that these background characters live in a world riddled with crime, explosions, robberies, and terror, and everyone is absolutely fine, even moreso, cheery about it.  

This film looks amazing. The visual effects are stunning, especially on the big screen. I like the choices they made to make this video game world seem authentic. One creative choice I really liked was how when Guy put on the glasses that reveal the game world, you can see all sorts of different icons almost popping off the screen, levitating and moving. They seem almost interactable, just like they would in a video game. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The comedic brilliance and heart-racing action sequences all make this movie a great time. This is an excellent family movie night material. While the film begins streaming on September 27, I highly- highly recommend going to see it in theaters. For me, it was the first film I saw at the movies since lockdown, and an experience like this is only fit for the big screen, 8/10!