You don’t have to be a gamer to fully appreciate the new video game comedy, Free Guy. In fact, if you just like people being super extra, laughing a lot, looking at attractive people, Marvel or Star Wars, or things blowing up, then you’re not going to have a good time, you’re going to have a GREAT time.
Free Guy – A Video Game Comedy for Non-Gamers, Too!
We meet Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a blue-shirt-wearing bank teller, who lives in Free City. Every morning he wakes up, greets his goldfish, Goldie, walks to work with his best friend, Buddy, and grabs coffee. He is happy in life and can’t think of anything else he needs, except maybe one thing.
Guy doesn’t realize he is an NPC (a non-playable character) in a popular video game even as he and Buddy casually drop to the ground every day as their bank gets robbed and glass shatters everywhere. The people who wear sunglasses are the heroes, so he’ll let them do their job.
That is until he sees her. The one thing or person he’s been missing in life – Molotov Girl (the loveable Jodie Comer). When he tries to talk to her, she doesn’t really notice him, after all, she wears sunglasses and is pretty bad-A. The next day, Guy breaks routine and grabs sunglasses off of one of the bank robbers only to reveal a whole new world he never knew existed.
Still a fish out of water, Guy tries to level up, so he can help Molotov Girl with her mission. In the real world, gamers everywhere are loving Guy and his blue shirt. Except how is an NPC, a background player, all of a sudden leveling up and doing it so quickly?
That’s what Keys (Joe Keery) wants to know, a video game programer who works for the douchey Antwan (Taika Waititi), the head of the video game company that owns Free City and who is being sued by his friend and ex-partner, Millie (also played by Comer). Millie knows Antwan stole their programming and technology for Free City, and she’s going to prove it.
Are you following all this yet? Luckily Director Shawn Levy makes it pretty easy to jump back and forth from the video game world to the real world. Ryan Reynolds is a delight and captures audiences with his charming and charismatic hot nerd role.
There is plenty of fan service to video game lovers with Easter Eggs hidden throughout and we even get a bonus hilarious, yet somewhat crass, bad-boy Channing Tatum avatar controlled by a stereotypical gamer guy still living with his parents playing video games online all day.
Free Guy was a giant surprise to me. I saw ads and trailers and didn’t pay much attention, despite being Disney-related. Video games just aren’t my thing.
But Free Guy won me over with its heart and joy. And its extraness. Taika Waititi is so incredibly over-the-top, I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. There had to be some improv going on, because I don’t know that anyone’s brain minus Taika’s could have come up with some of that dialogue. Did I sometimes roll my eyes at him? Sure. But I appreciated the commitment.
Free Guy is too long, as are a lot of movies these days. Reynolds holds down the fort and makes it watchable for nearly 2 hours. And although Free Guy may not be kid-friendly due to some strong language, it’s one that many families will be able to enjoy together with its resemblance to movies like Ralph Breaks the Internet and Ready Player One. Free Guy is a lot of fun and worth the trip to the theater.
Free Guy is playing in theaters everywhere.
Tania Lamb is an entertainment and travel writer and owner of LolaLambchops.com. She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic and a huge Marvel and Star Wars fangirl. Also a snack enthusiast, it's hard for her to resist the smell of popcorn at the movie theater, no matter how hard she tries.