Reel Reviews | Free Guy

By Charles Kirkland Jr.

A bank teller named Guy finds out that his love interest may be the key to the survival of his world in the action-adventure, Free Guy.

The world of Free City seems to be as normal as any other city. Despite the numerous and seemingly ritual robberies, assaults, and attacks, bank teller Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is just extremely positive. He has his friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), a guard who works in the bank with him, he has his neighbors, and he has his coffee. Everything is great until he sees the love of his life, a mysterious, adventure-seeking woman in sunglasses. One day after Guy gets up the nerve to talk to her, he puts on a pair of sunglasses and discovers that everything that he knows is fake and that he lives inside a video game.

The screenplay for Free Guy is written by Matt Lieberman (Scoob!, The Christmas Chronicles 1&2) and Zak Penn (Ready Player One, The Avengers). It is directed by Shawn Levy (Real Steel, Night at the Museum) and stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Taika Waititi, Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and a slew of other stars in cameos through audio or video means.

Free Guy is a deceptively clever film. On the surface, the film is about a character in a video game becoming aware of himself and his surroundings and taking action to save the game. Underneath the surface, writers Lieberman and Penn have crafted a story that is about love, the meaning of life, and the right to exist. Who better to cast in a movie about love and romance than the man who made Deadpool a love story, Ryan Reynolds?

Ryan Reynolds is in all of his loveable, quippy glory as the star of the film but he is joined by a supremely talented ensemble including Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer. Comer is the star whose role makes the movie work on many different levels. She plays the love interest of the film as Millie, the gamer girl who unwittingly sends the NPC Guy off onto a game (and world) changing adventure. It is Millie’s adventure and the love for Millie that is the basis for everything in the film. She is the anchor for it all. Comer is slyly seductive and fiercely passionate as she brings to life Millie’s quest both in the game and in real life.

The always interesting Taika Waititi takes a super-cool turn as the hipster gaming guru villain of the film, Antoine. Waititi is great fun to watch as he insidiously completes each evil and mean scheme to inhibit the success of the protagonists. Yet, the most fun of the movie happens to be the large number of cameos that appear in the film. The biggest of them all being the last on-screen appearance of late Jeopardy host Alex Trebek for whom the film is dedicated.

Rated PG-13 for strong fantasy violence throughout, language and crude/suggestive references, Free Guy is a tremendously fun and exciting adventure. It is a multi-leveled experience that would be fun for even the most hardcore gamers, comic books geeks, romance lovers, and action junkies. It is an unexpected delight that easily can threaten all others for the title of the movie of the summer.

Free Guy is only in theaters.

Grade: A