In a summer where most of the blockbusters have been sequels or reboots, “Free Guy” proves to be a breath of fresh air – a (somewhat) original concept that is fun and quite clever thanks to a stellar cast led by Ryan Reynolds.
He plays Guy, a banker in Free City who is content with the same routine daily routine. But Guy starts to question everything when he has a chance encounter with a mysterious woman (Jodie Comer).
The encounter leads to Guy discovering his true identity. He is actually a Non Playable Character in a video game called “Free City.”
The writers of “Free Guy” – Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn – could have stopped there and made a fun little film that coasts by on the shoulders of a rather charming Reynolds, but the story throws in another wrinkle as we get to see the game being played in real time.
The female character is actually a woman named Millie, who along with her gaming partner Keys (Joe Keery) created a game that they believe was stolen by a video game mogul named Antwan (Taika Waititi).
Millie is going into the game looking for clues to prove their game was stolen. After spending time with Guy, she begins to believe that he might be the key to everything.
If you are thinking that “Free Guy” sounds like a cross between “The Truman Show” and “Ready Player One,” then you would be correct – although the film borrows from other movies as well.
The script plays with many ideas, with director Shawn Levy effectively balancing the video game world and the real world.
Some will recognize Comer from TV’s “Killing Eve,” with her video game persona a perfect contract to her real-life character.
Waititi has a lot of fun as the villain, while Lil Rey Howery has some good moments as Guy’s best friend in the video world.
But it’s Reynolds who really makes it all fly.
He has such a charming, laid-back persona that really brings Guy to life. Sure it’s a role we’ve seen Reynolds play many times, but he does it so well it really doesn’t matter. He is like that comfortable blanket you sleep with every night, warm, fuzzy and quite cozy.
Reynolds is the secret sauce that brings this all together, making “Free Guy” an absolute blast.