A fantastic new adventure called “Free Guy” aims to bring audiences back to theaters. Rick Brough has the truth for the Friday Film Review.
Ryan Reynolds stars as Guy, a cheerful, bland character who works in a bank in a big city.
He wears the same blue shirt every day, throws the same slogans and makes the same old complaints to his boyfriend (who is called Buddy) that he never finds the right woman.
And he complacently follows the same routine every day, like all of his friends and neighbors, even though they live in the insanely violent Free City, which looks like Gotham City in its worst week, as led by Michael Bay, times infinite.
It doesn’t take long before the secret is revealed. Guy the friendly character – is a character, in a video game “Free City”. He is just the background of the “people in the sunglasses”, who can steal, steal, maim and murder whatever they want. They are, of course, avatars for real world gamers playing “Free City”.
Everything changes when Guy sees a mysterious brunette in sunglasses named “MolotovGirl” and loses his heart. Something moves inside him, he grabs the glasses of a bank robber and when he puts them on – like the hero of the 80s classic “They Live” – he sees a whole new world.
In the real world, “MolotovGirl” is Millie (played by Jodie Comer). She and her former partner Keys (played by Joe Keery) had their lineup stolen for “Free City”. They don’t yet realize how much of their emotions they’re putting into the game, and how that allows, say, a dark background character to achieve sensitivity.
The film is a great showcase for Ryan Reynolds, who retains an adorable naivety even though his character is rebellious, hurt, or bewildered by a massive identity crisis. Ultimately, he becomes a beneficent hero in the game, known as the Blue Shirt Guy.
With “Deadpool,” Reynolds could pull off a Harrison Ford, achieving success with two characters from the franchise.
The creators of the film have a background in some cool fantasy films. Director Shawn Levy is perhaps best known for the “Night at the Museum” films.
Also in the cast, mercenary and obnoxious gamer mogul Antwan is played by Taika Waititi. Channing Tatum appears as a muscular person with sunglasses – who is in real life (unsurprisingly) a colossal dork living with his mother. And there’s an Alex Trebek cameo, a telltale sign that the film’s release has been delayed by the pandemic.
The climax of the story makes it feel like it’s going on for a bit long, like the creators want to show off every player plot and special effect in the book. But he has a nice moral – that even in a video universe, you can be whoever you want to be.
At the player level, I would say “Free Guy” hits three and a half on a scale of five. For the Friday Film Review, I’m Rick Brough.