As I sat down in my recliner, I realized I really didn’t have any idea what this movie was about. I remember seeing the first trailer and seeing it was maybe like a PG-13 version of the 2009 Gerard Butler ‘Gamer’ movie, and then seeing a bad deep-fake of Ryan Reynolds on a buff guy. I actually really appreciated how little of the story was given away in the marketing, or at least in what I saw. Now, was the surprise worth it in the end? I think so!
My earlier guess of ‘Free Guy’ being a more bubble-gummy (inside joke) version of ‘Gamer’ ended up being fairly accurate. Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is an NPC character in an open-world shooter game who starts to become self-aware, and helps Milly (Jodie Comer) and Keys (Joe Keery) get back what is theirs. I thought the story was super cleaver and had a lot of moments I wasn’t expecting. I am personally not a gamer unless you count the occasional ‘Sims 4’, so some of the gamer-specific moments were lost on me, but the story itself kept me invested enough that I had a good time. Something that I was surprised by was how ‘Free Guy’ was not very laugh-out-loud funny. Ryan Reynolds had his usual sarcastic humor riddled with similes and metaphors, but not a lot of it made me laugh. At least not in the beginning, and I think part of that is because it took me a while to warm up to Guy being a completely naïve man-child and not find him annoying. The second half of the film was way better to me, and there are some cameos that I loved. One in particular I was shocked by and found it easily the funniest part in the movie.
‘Free Guy’ is a gamer’s wet dream film, and I know this because there were some 14 year-old kids in front of me wearing ‘Fortnite’ hats that were pumping their fist at parts of the movie. As a not 14 year-old child, I thoroughly enjoyed myself even though there was some cringey humor and forced romance. This is a really fun movie, and I would definitely recommend going for a date night.