Updated: Aug 13
Film: Free Guy
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Tailka Waititi, Joe Keery, Utkash Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery
Director: Shawn Levy
Review: Klep Napier
Rating: 3X’s out of 5X’s
Just months after his unexpected sequel to 2017’s (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) Ryan Reynolds keeps us and the momentum rolling with laughter in his latest adventure/comedy, Free Guy.
Free Guy follows a bank teller named Guy [Reynolds] who after realizing that he is only a non playing character in a open world video game, decides to create his own destiny playing the game by his rules, leveling up and winning the girl of his dreams!
At first glance this is totally just Ryan being Ryan. Opening narration and all. But as the story progresses you see hints of what is not just a slapstick comedy about gamers, but a true genuine love story.
The sub plot follows Keys [Joe Keery] (Stranger Things) and Millie [Jodie Comer] (Killing Eve) as two game developers. Keys is just an under the radar, button pusher for the larger than life gaming company Soonami run by a narcissist named Antoine [Taika Waititi]. Meanwhile Millie takes on the role of a hacker, trying to prove that her and her friends code was stolen in order to create “Free Word”. The game Antoine solely takes credit for creating.
I know right? This seems a lot smarter than the trailer leads us to believe doesn’t it? Reynolds is merely the icing on the cake when it comes to this film. It is his wit, charm and comedic abilities that make all the CGI special effects and wacky world that only most gamers would comprehend, simply enjoyable. The audience gets to experience all that “Free Word” has to offer through the eyes of Guy. So if you’re worried about not being able to follow along, rest easy because the more that Guy learns, the more you will learn as the story moves along.
Speaking of CGI, this thing is beautiful and the cast is just as colorful. But the stand out for us would have to go to Director/ Actor Taika Waititi, who most of us may know as the Director of the award winning (JoJo Rabbit) and Marvel’s (Thor Ragnarok). Waititi plays quit the antagonist in this film and although you’ll love to hate him you can’t help but keep watching him steal scenes from his co-stars. He’s just perfectly so over the top in this film.
But enough praises. Where does it fail? Well unfortunately for the pessimists, our only gripe has to be that although this film is merely one hour and fifty five minutes, it tends to feel a lot longer than it needs to be. We did however see an early screen so our version may still be in the works. We weren’t ever bored but there were a few readjustments in our seats as the slower parts weaved it’s way out of the second act into the third. Which leads us to our next concern.
Some are aware of the delays with the film which we could blame on the pandemic of 2020 but we must not forget that while this film was being made and marketed, There was a certain merger happening at the same time. This film waists no time in Ryan Reynolds aka Deadpool fashion to call that out. This leads us to believe that possibly, not maybe, there were reshoots done to the third act of the film in order to cash in on missed humor opportunities. Did it work? Yes it did. But more of a chuckle and eye roll of a moment.
Overall Free Guy is an awesome fun ride with all the right players. From the minds of the people who wrote Ready Player One, Avengers and The Christmas Chronicles you can elect a whole lot of action, humor and heartfelt moments. Oh and a lot of Ryan Reynolds. Win, win.