Ryan Reynolds video game adventure film Free Guy finally hits the big screens after a series of delays. The film follows Reynolds as Guy, an NPC (non playable character) who finds his life changed when he passes a sunglass-wearing (real player) woman humming Mariah Carey. This sets off a chain of events as he teams with Jodie Comer’s Millie to explore the hidden depths of the game.
Free Guy is fun. I found myself laughing along throughout, but upon leaving, I realised I couldn’t remember a single thing I had laughed at, the content instantly forgettable. The film is able to capture the world of video games whilst also breaking them down enough for non-gamers to understand, but the whole thing feels overly sanitised and bland.
The cast is decent, but as always, this is firmly Reynolds film, whose charming on-screen presence manages to hold attention and carry us along in a film that felt overly long and thinly stretched. With another person in the role of Guy, the film would lose 70% of its enjoyment. Comer does her best with a bland character, never quite getting to show off her award-winning acting skills but easily holding her own against the other stars. Taika Watiti phones in a weak performance as villainous tech boss Antoine, a role that should be deliciously villainous but instead falls flat and completely unmemorable.
There are many fun easter eggs and cultural reference points hidden throughout the film, one such moment that had the audience, me included, cheering and clapping in the screening. But when it was immediately followed up by two more within the space of 30 seconds, it no longer felt like a fun moment, instead a cheap and hollow marketing moment, reminding me to renew my Disney+ subscription.
Free Guy was watchable and an interesting take on a modern concept, but I found myself thinking instead of The Lego Movie, The Truman Show and Wreck-It Ralph, all films that have tackled similar concepts far more effectively.
Overall, there’s nothing wrong with Free Guy but there’s also nothing great – it’s just good. Maybe that’s the point of the story though, sometimes being good is enough.
See all photos >>
Ex film teacher and frequent couch potato. I try and see at least one new release a week, but I’ve somehow got to 30 without having seen The Godfather?