Note: This is a spoiler-free Free Guy movie review
With everything currently going on in the world, every “background” character has a unique opportunity to be a star. Not everyone is taking advantage of that opportunity, but it will remain a fact for the foreseeable future.
Luckily, one of the places that you can still count on a regular Joe to become a hero is the movies.
In a classic underdog story catered to an underdog audience, Free Guy intertwines action and comedy to bring a relatable video-game-like adventure to life.
A New Gamer Genre Giant?
While there are moments that appeal to a wide audience, overall Free Guy is made for a catered to a specific audience.
In case you hadn’t picked it up from the trailer above, Ryan Reynolds plays a bank teller named Guy from Free City who discovers that he’s actually a non-player character inside an open-world video game. For that reason, Sean Levy and company have intelligently created a movie that gamers, comic book lovers, and Comic-con goers will particularly enjoy. It’s not a saturated niche outside of the Marvel and DC Universes, and Free Guy does the work to carve out its place.
Not only does the movie revolve around a video game world, but it pleases the target audience with surprise cameos and Easter eggs along the way.
The formatting and direction of the movie are unique as well. Free Guy jumps back and forth between Free City (the video game world) and the real world, intertwining the conflicts in each as they become one. Gamers get lost in their devices these days. This movie is a great example of blurring the lines between a real guy and CGI.
A Familiar Guy In The Hero Role
Ryan Reynolds is once again the focal point of a movie he pushed to make, and for good reason. The actor is back with his naive everyman style while also somehow sneaking in some raunchy jokes. It’s not quite at Deadpool levels, but clearly Reynolds has found what works and he’s sticking to it in Free Guy. If you’re a fan of his previous work, you’ll enjoy his performance. If not, there isn’t much that’s changed.
Here Comes Comer
As for the supporting cast, I’m hoping this is a theatrical awareness party of sorts for Jodie Comer. Simply put she’s a phenomenal actress, and she’s also the standout of this movie outside Reynolds.
Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t exactly a groundbreaking role simply because Free Guy isn’t the style of movie that would allow for that (check out The Last Duel in October for the coming out party).
Comer is the one actually jumping between the real world and gamer world, so really the movie takes place from her perspective as much as Reynolds. She comes off relatable in the real world and badass in the fake one. A perfect mix and a solid supporting performance that really is a co-lead.
Jokes For Different Folks
The biggest criticism for Free Guy is they treat the jokes as if they have unlimited lives. There are A LOT of jokes throughout the movie — it’s certainly more of a comedy than an action film — and about 50% of them land. Most of the ones that don’t come from an Oscar-winning talent.
Taika Waititi is a ridiculously gifted comedy writer, director, producer, and actor. He takes a lot of big swings, and most of them are home runs. His performance in Free Guy as a gaming company owner named Antwan is a strikeout.
Riffing and improv-style comedy is where Waititi specializes in his writing and acting. In this movie, it comes across as a lot of word salad that falls flat, unfortunately. You can tell when he’s trying to be funny (which is essentially every line), and there’s even pause for laughter in the movie, but most are just awkward silence.
Should I See Free Guy?
Despite being the biggest movie in the world after its release (according to the box office), I’m still not sure this movie is for everyone.
Gamer? Free Guy is for you.
Comic book movie fan? Free Guy is probably for you.
Action movie fan? Free Guy is maybe for you.
Other than that, this movie could be a pass due mainly to some flat jokes that will leave you disappointed if you’re looking for a comedy.
(Featured Image courtesy of Warner Bros.)