A review of the new movie “Free Guy”

If you’ve never played a video game (I haven’t), you might struggle to work out what’s going on in the beginning of this movie. So it helps to know that it opens inside a video game where the human players are represented by characters with sunglasses and all the other figures are what are called non-player characters (NPCs). We immediately meet the eponymous blue shirt guy who is an NPC in the game Free City and he is portrayed by the ever-watchable Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds of “Deadpool” fame.

We learn later that the software for the game was originally developed by young programmers played by the British Jodie Comer and American Joe Keery, best best-known for popular television series. The villain of the piece is the owner of the video game played by New Zealander Taika Waititi (Hitler in “Jojo Rabbit”). I saw the movie with a 14 year old boy who not only knew immediately what was happening but recognised a number of gaming influencers playing themselves. 

Visually “Free Guy” is an absolute treat – we saw it in IMAX – with so many colourful characters, so much noisy action, and so many special effects. Plot-wise – once you’ve worked out what’s happening – it’s all rather simple and silly but, for the younger demographic at which this work is aimed, it’s enormously entertaining with a satisfying romantic ending. It’s a joy to see a film that isn’t a sequel or part of a franchise, although “Free Guy” is hardly a total original.

Think “The Truman Show” meets “The Matrix” with elements of “Groundhog Day” and “Source Code”. Among other movies openly referenced in this one are “Avengers” and “Star Wars”. Canadian producer and director Shawn Levy has form for this kind of multi-referencing movie since he was responsible fo the enjoyable “Night At The Museum” franchise.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>