Review by Dan Skip Allen
Ryan Reynolds has had a resurgence in his career since the disastrous year of 2013. He "unintentionally" (or perhaps intentionally) leaked the test footage of himself as Deadpool and things started picking up in his career. He even made fun of all the bad things he's done in his career in the Deadpool films. The success of the Deadpool films has led to him having some creative freedom in the industry and so that leads to his latest film Free Guy. Free Guy, like a lot of other films, was supposed to be released last year, but due to the pandemic, it got pushed back to August 2021.
Disney has a lot of properties they are putting out this summer, not the least of which are 20th Century properties they've acquired since the merger with Fox. Free Guy is one of those films they inherited. With Reynolds attached and Shawn Levy directing it is sure to be a hit, right? The answer to that question hopefully will be yes. Disney lucked out with this one. This is the kind of film they would have made themselves had Fox not made and produced it already. All Disney had to do is release it and that's the easy part despite it getting delayed like everything else from 2020. Now let the word of mouth spread for this pleasantly surprising wonderfully charming film.
Reynolds plays a backup character of Guy in a video game called "Free World". He goes through his everyday existence waking up, going to work at the bank, saying hi to his Buddy (literally, that's the name of the security guard played by Lil' Rel Howery), and they wait for the bank to be robbed daily. He is happy in his life until a strange woman crosses his path in the game named Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer). She upended his life and he's obsessed with her. Little does Guy know this obsession will lead him down a strange and action-packed path.
First-person interactive games such as Minecraft and Fortnight have become all the rage over the last decade or so. People all around the world and of all ages are enamored with these types of games. Free Guy is a film that depicts how these types of games work in the real world. It has interactive characters and throws in a few fun twists to boot. Joe Kerry (Stranger Things) and his friend designed their own game but they were bought out by Taika Waititi's mogul and his game company. He used their operating system to bring "Free World" to life. That's where Reynolds' character comes in. Somehow he gets a conscience and that's where the film picks up and really starts to get enjoyable. This film has a big heart to it.
Levy packed the film with all kinds of cameos as well as the stellar cast he has assembled. He throws in a lot of very clever jokes as well garnering some very heavy laughter. People are going to be wowed by some of the spot-on archetypes. The film is so self-aware of itself and the backdrop it's set in. Everybody involved fully understands the world they are in and how that translates to the outside world as a whole. This subculture of America and the world is going to eat this film up. It's the perfect cure for a summer of prequels, sequels, and reboots. This will definitely be the hit of the summer. And it comes out at the right time because families are getting back from vacation and the kids will need something to do. Why not bring them to Free Guy for two hours? This is the perfect cure for the summertime blues.
Free Guy has a fun premise, but also a relatable story as well. In all this crazy video game first-person shooter mayhem, it has a great and beautiful love story at its core. I almost didn't see it coming. The writing is so on point. It has to deal with so much video game jargon that the personal story of the characters almost got lost on me. In the end, it didn't though. We get a perfect conclusion to this surprisingly very good film.
With most films with heroes, there must be a mustache spiraling villain, right? Well, Taika Wataiti is just that man and he is funny and weird and awkward at times. Some of his ad-libs fall short, but in the end, he serves his role in the overall story perfectly. He even creates an avatar called the Dude that is quite hilarious, to say the least.
With a film involving a lot of video game-type graphics comes a lot of CGI effects. They serve the plot perfectly. Once the story starts going forward, they are almost a second fiddle to the main characters of the film even though they are always there and are so very obvious to the film. Sometimes they literally hit you over the face with how prevalent they are. It's a great addition to this film all the way around.
Free Guy has heart for miles and it shows in the end product. This film will be the hit of the summer and this summer needed it badly. Reynolds and Comer have great chemistry and exude every emotion possible to show how they are all in on the film project. The side characters and visuals also add a necessary addition to this amazing film. People of all ages will enjoy Free Guy for everything I said, but also because it's what the world needs right now, especially in these hard times. This is the Ryan Reynolds I want to see now and in the future! He was amazing in this film. That's why he is a movie star!
Free Guy hits theaters on August 13.