‘Free Guy’ Review: Don’t Hate the Player
One day you head to your job at the bank, get ready for its series of daily robberies, and the next day you find out that you are a secondary character in a video game. Difficult break.
This is the storyline in which Guy (Ryan Reynolds) finds himself in the perky but predictable new adventure comedy “Free Guy”, directed by Shawn Levy. Guy is comfortable with his monotonous life in the Free City game until he meets a player named Millie (Jodie Comer), a coder who seeks proof that Antwan (Taika Waititi), the avid tycoon of money behind the virtual world of gambling, stole its code. With the help of her friend and partner Keys (Joe Keery), Millie attempts a code theft with a higher level guy, who has become a viral hero in the gamer sphere.
“Free Guy” is as nice as its main actor; Reynolds draws on his endless good-boy charisma to deliver an adorable brand of humor that resembles “Deadpool” Lite. And the various comic book characters (Lil Rel Howery as Guy’s ignorant best friend, Waititi as toxic boss) and cameos (a priceless Channing Tatum and a Marvel surprise) make it a perfectly enjoyable experience.
But innovative? Not really. Conceptually, “Free Guy” is reminiscent of a PG-13 version of “Westworld” (less stabbing, no sex). Interesting existential tidbits about agency, morality, and artificial intelligence play the second role after the Strawman’s argument about the baseness of consumerism. The jokes, too, feel well wrapped; they are sometimes funny, but never surprising.
It’s no spoiler to say that art trumps capitalism, the romantic telephoned plot is resolved, and everyone is happy in the end. “Free Guy” has charm, but there’s not much memorable about the same old quest, same old boss fight, and then the end of the game.
Classified PG-13. Duration: 1 hour 55 minutes. In theaters.
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