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Free Guy: Best Video Game Movie Ever?

April 18, 2022

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Have you ever wondered what would happen if the artificial intelligence (AI) characters in a video game actually realized they were in a video game? Well, look no further than the newest movie in Ryan Reynolds’ acting resume, Free Guy, now available to stream on Disney+.

I’ll be honest; I was excited to watch this movie as Reynolds is one of my favorite comedy actors, not to mention that the idea of an AI learning he is an AI is intriguing. I love video games, whether playing them or watching people play them, so I especially appreciate a good video game movie.

Even given those facts, I didn’t expect Free Guy to become one of my favorite movies of 2021.

The setting is one of the best parts about the movie because it mostly takes place in a Grand Theft Auto-style game. I absolutely adore the plot, too. The main character, Guy (played by Ryan Reynolds) finds a pair of glasses that makes him aware that he’s in a video game. Unlike the players who are acting like villains, Guy decides to use this realization for good, and starts helping fellow AI characters and players. These actions of good, instead of evil, catch the attention of the game’s coders, with unexpected results.

Let me get the few cons out of the way. While I enjoyed the characters, some felt too flat. The CEO of the game studio (played by Taika Waititi), is too over the top for my liking; he feels too much like a jerk and a maniac in some scenes. Another con for me is the way the plot kicks off. It begins with Guy meeting Millie (played by Jodie Comer), a player that Guy eventually falls in love with. As a result of their meeting, his coding changes and he becomes sentient and aware. This seems a little too lazy on the part of the writers. I feel like the plot could have been kicked off better as it seems too obvious and contrived.

Now onto the good stuff. The pacing is exceptional and keeps the plot moving along instead of dragging. This movie is funnier than I expected it to be, and had me laughing out loud at some of the lines. The unexpected cameos, such as one of the late Alex Trebek, are fantastic. I feel like the gaming YouTubers and streamers that are cameoed in the movie are popular enough to where people will recognize them and appreciate their appearances, however brief. The cast is one of the best parts, as the chemistry between everyone mixes really well. Besides Reynolds and Comer, there are appreciated performances by Joe Keery, and to a lesser extent, Taika Watiti. Reynolds manages to capture the innocence of someone who has no idea of their surroundings, and Keery embodies someone who works a lot with coding and computers.

Overall, Free Guy is one of my favorite movies in the past year since I never really knew where the plot would go. It kept me guessing just enough, but it wasn’t anything that made me think too hard about plot holes. The plot flows smoother than molasses, the characters are endearing, and overall, I really enjoyed this movie. I give Free Guy an 8.9/10 stars.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Matthew Gresham
Matthew Gresham, FCHS Journalist

Matthew is a sophomore in his second year of journalism. he is an eagle scout and interested in hiking, camping, NASCAR, and airsoft.

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