Free Guy

A bank teller discovers that he’s actually an NPC inside a brutal, open world video game.

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A bank teller finds out that he is part of a video game in . Guy () is an extremely optimistic bank teller living in Free City, completely oblivious to the wanton carnage happening around the city, including the daily bank robberies experienced by both himself and his security guard friend Buddy (). However, Guy's world is turned upside down, when he spots Molotov Girl (), one of the sunglasses sporting heroes around the city, who is also the girl of Guy's dreams. It turns out that Molotov Girl is an avatar for Millie Rusk, an indie video game developer, whose game she designed with Walter “Keys” McKeys () was reportedly stolen by Antwan () and turned into Free City. Back in the game, Guy acquires a pair of sunglasses, which allows him to interact with the video game world and he quickly becomes a viral sensation with the good deeds he performs, all in the name of impressing Molotov Girl. However, with the upcoming launch of Antwan's sequel Free City 2, the lives of the current inhabitants of Free City are imminently threatened.

Free Guy is a video game-influenced action-comedy directed by Shawn Levy (Real Steel). The film stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular Guy, who obliviously lives through the same daily loop until he discovers that his life is part of an open-world video game and that he is just a non-playable character there to observe the action. Guy becomes enamored with Molotov Girl, aka Millie, who is trying to find proof that Antwan stole the code from the game she designed. In his efforts to impress Millie with his good deeds, Guy ends up becoming a viral sensation and he also gains the skills required to help Millie with her quest. However, when it is discovered that Antwan's upcoming sequel won't use any of the existing game world, it makes it even more important for Guy and Millie to prove Antwan's thievery.

For someone like me enormously well-versed in the world of video games, I found Free Guy to be an immensely fun watch. Not only does the film feature easter eggs for hardcore gamers, but the film features a large number of cameos, ranging from popular Twitch streamers to voiceover roles I didn't realize until reading the credits. Free Guy is almost like Ready Player One, without the need to utilizing existing intellectual properties, which is actually referenced in the film itself through Taika Waititi's antagonist of Antwan, who is much more focused on making bigger and badder versions of his existing Free City game, instead of creating something original.

Overall, I would say that I enjoyed watching Free Guy, thanks greatly to Ryan Reynolds' dedication to the titular role.

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.