When you watch Free Guy, you are going to think you have been here before.
That could prove to be a problem for many viewers, as this movie seems to be a mixture of several other better movies. However, if you can get past the familiarity, there is a lot in this new Ryan Reynolds movie to love.
Free Guy Review
Free Guy opens with a guy named Guy waking up. He looks in his closet and all the clothes are the same, so he grabs his blue button-up shirt and slacks and heads out.
He goes and gets some coffee, mentions how hot it is, says hi to the policeman, who knows him by name, and then he heads to work.
All around him, crazy explosions, murders, and car crashes are happening, but he thinks nothing of it. He gets to work at the bank and he and his best friend, Buddy the security cop, start chatting. Then, bank robbers come in, and the two lay on the floor and talk about heading to the dock after work.
The only thing that Guy doesn’t do is break out in a song and dance number, singing “Everything is Awesome.”
Yes, it is impossible to get past the idea that this opening is the exact same as the one for The LEGO Movie, all the way down to Guy getting pulled out of his boring life by a girl in sunglasses named Wyldestyle.
Oh, wait, she is named Molotov Girl in this movie. And just like Wyldestyle is really named Lucy, Molotov Girl is actually named Millie (Jodie Comer, Killing Eve).
The movies are almost the same, taking the LEGO toys and replacing them with video game characters in a world that is very similar to Grand Theft Auto.
So, what makes Free Guy different enough to watch?
That would be Ryan Reynolds, a ton of Easter eggs for gamers and YouTube/Twitch fans, and a decent amount of heart.
Reynolds plays Ryan Reynolds here. He is charming, but a little (okay, a lot) dense. He is also more than just an NPC (non-playable character or those who haven’t seen the Jumanji movies). He is an AI that Millie and her former partner Keys (Joe Keery, Stranger Things) created.
The problem is that a video game developer named Antoine (Taika Waititi) stole their gaming engine and put it in his game, which is now a massive success. He lied about it, hired Keys to work for him, and is fighting a lawsuit by Millie.
Millie has gone into the game with her avatar (Molotov Girl) to find where in the game’s engine the proof of her design is, and that is where she meets Guy.
The original game design created an AI that was supposed to learn and develop in a peaceful world where people could just spend time and watch it grow. When she realizes Guy is proof that her AI did grow into a true being with consciousness, she enlists him to help her find the truth.
The entire theme of the movie is the question of what is more important, making money on a brainless game or appreciating the creation of life, even if it is AI life. It is a smart sci-fi question tied up in a bubblegum movie.
However, for a bubblegum action movie, it is a lot of fun.
There are also a lot of fun cameos that I won’t spoil here (there’s an Avenger, an X-Men, and a DCEU antihero), and they make watching the movie more fun than it ever had the right to be.
Now, this isn’t just about the cameos and Easter eggs, though. As with almost every Ryan Reynolds movie these days, he carries the movie on his back, proving to be funny, vulnerable, self-deprecating, and awkwardly cool, all in one package.
The real world is not as fun, consisting mostly of Millie and Keys’ journey from creating the AI to finally working together to save it. Taika Waititi brings his bizarre humor to the role of Antonie, but that was only great in small doses, and I say that as a fan of Waititi’s humor.
The fun here is in the game, and in that area, it is good enough.
Final Thoughts on Free Guy
Yes, Free Guy is a bunch of movies wrapped up in one. This is The LEGO Movie with a fresh coat of paint. This is Jumanji, with a twist. This is every Ryan Reynolds action-comedy.
This is a completely unoriginal movie.
However, if you love Ryan Reynolds and have an affinity for video games, Free Guy is a dumb fun time at the movies. This is a great one for tweens who have discovered Fortnite, YouTube, and video games, and a good movie for Reynolds’ fans, as there is a lot of his humor spread throughout.
Free Guy is funny, has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and is what you would expect from the guy who played Deadpool.
Free Guy hit theaters exclusively on August 13, 2021.