In the picture

October 10, 2021

Ryan Reynolds’ latest flick Free Guy may remind you of several other films but it does have some fun along the way.

In the picture

Free Guy☆☆☆

Staring:Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Taika Waititi

Directed by: Shawn Levy

Tagline: The world needed a hero. They got a guy.

The Lego Movie meets The Truman Show by way of about half a dozen other sci-fi films in Free Guy, a comedy adventure that doesn’t let its transparent derivativeness stop it from being a considerable amount of cheesy, silly fun.

Ryan Reynolds stars as Guy, a happy-go-lucky bank teller, whose seemingly pleasant life takes an unusual turn when he figures out that he is actually just a non-playing character in a violent video game. Guy’s life changes when he crosses paths with game developer Millie (Jodie Comer) who is on a mission to prove that Antwan (Taika Waititi), the creator of the phenomenon Free City, stole the code from a game she created with her partner Keys (Joe Keery). As soon as Guy sees Millie’s avatar Molotov Girl, who he immediately thinks is the girl of his dreams, he starts to deviate from his programming. His actions subsequently cause unexpected developments in Free City, leading to various degrees of confusion and excitement among the game’s fanbase.

As Guy decides to become the hero of the story, a series of events leave his universe in peril. He must then figure out how to save his digital friends while helping right a wrong in the real world.

The premise itself has potential but much of the plot feels like a mishmash of familiar ideas. There are shades of everything from Ready Player One to The Matrix in this adventure, but there is enough wit and heart here to ensure that you still enjoy the ride. The jokes and one-liners often land. Plus, there are amusing Easter Eggs and cameos (one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance by a well-known face, in particular, is absolutely brilliant) and lots of little details in the background that make the film more interesting.

It also doesn’t hurt that the cast has some solid comedic chops. Reynolds may not be the most dynamic performer but he is perfect in the lead role. Comer, too, is effective in her part, as are Keery and the wonderful Waititi.

All in all, Free Guy doesn’t have anything ground-breaking to offer but it does know how to deliver a pleasant, entertaining – albeit a tad unexceptional – adventure. The film makes no secret of the fact that all it is trying to do is offer around two hours of escapist fun, and on that count, it certainly delivers. It won’t land atop your favourite movies’ list, but it will try its best to brighten your day, if only just a little bit.

Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection

In the picture