Review: Free Guy

What makes a good video game movie, a video game movie? Is it an adaptation of a video game (Tomb Raider)? Is it a movie that takes place inside a game (Ready Player One)? Or is it a movie that feels like a video game (Edge of Tomorrow)?

Free Guy has elements of all three. As crazy as this may sound….there are a ton of spolierish things in the film, cameos, and plot points that I will avoid. Here’s the best synopsis:

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) lives in Free City. What Guy doesn’t know is Free City is a popular open world game and he is an NPC (non playable character). Guy goes to work at the bank every day and hangs out with his best friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery).  After Guy meets Molotov Girl aka Millie (Jodie Comer) he becomes self aware,

In the real world, Antoine (Taika Waititi) says he’s updating Free City but he’s actually deleting it and selling customers a brand new game. Millie and Keys (Joe Keery) work with Guy to save the citizens of Free City before they’re erased for good.

Free Guy is very entertaining movie about a character living inside a video game. The open world style game with skins and wacky characters feels like Grand Theft Auto meets Fortnite. Guy’s story alone feels like a video game adaption.

The movie is also a very enjoyable rom-com. Yes, a romantic comedy.

The relationship between Guy and Millie is sweet and a little strange because he’s not real – it  reminiscent of those oddball rom-coms from the early 2000’s and Ready Player One. The end of Guy and Millie’s romantic journey packs a punch like those classic rom-coms from the 80’s. The film does a great job striking the balance between wacky action film and a romantic comedy.

None of the action is draw dropping or original but it’s done well in the context of the story….so it works. The craziness that happens in Free City feels like it should be a video game. The best sequence is a fight scene with Guy and Molotov Girl taking on some a group of bad guys that respawn after they’re killed.

The stand out performances come via Jodie Comer who is playing two characters and is excellent at both. Taika Waititi is hilarious as the worst boss in the world. Utkarsh Ambudkar shines as Mouser. Most peole will remember Ambudkar from his great storytelling scene in Blindspotting and his role in Brittany Runs a Marathon.

Free Guy is surprisingly fun from start to finish. It’s funny and entertaining with a cool story that’s full of lively characters at every turn. Free Guy is the kind of mindless fun movie people might need right now.

Grade: B