#REVIEW: “FREE GUY”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Bank Teller Guy (Ryan Reynolds) lives a mundane life. He gets up, puts on his blue button-up shirt, gets a coffee, and heads to his job where he awaits someone to rob it. However, his life gets turned upside down when he falls head-over-heels for Molotov Girl/Millie (Jodie Comer). She informs him that he’s actually an NPC (Non-Player Character) in a video game called Free City that is about to go offline.
If you love Reynolds, you’ll love Free Guy. The Film is carried by Reynolds’ trademark style of humour. At this point, he’s managed to make it a particular style of comedic acting that only he can pull off. It works perfectly for the comedic tone of the Film and the positive-programmed Guy who doesn’t want you to “have a good day, have a great day.” Director Shawn Levy knows the talent he’s working with and elevates it.
Yet, the Comedy doesn’t always weigh entirely on Reynolds’ shoulders. Levy places characters or video game trinkets in the background of a scene that creates laughs. These moments often allow Reynolds to play it straight which is refreshing to see from the expressive Deadpool actor. He really gets to do this in a film stealing scene with an outrageously funny cameo from someone we haven’t seen in a minute. Without giving too much away, there are adult jokes made that teeter on getting that PG rating. Additionally, Free Guy has entertaining action throughout. Levy excels at mixing action and comedy together. We’ll have Reynolds and Comer in a motorcycle chase or fighting the bad guys while the actors are delivering hilarious lines of dialogue.
These moments are also thanks to the script from Co-writers Matt Leiberman and Zak Penn. They deliver a Script full of pop culture references, action and belly laughs from beginning to end. They’ve made Free City a game where players can do whatever they want no matter how violent. Hidden in their Script are messages of how the world is brutal enough, why do we need more violence in our games? Why not have a game about a positive utopia? Most impressively, Leiberman and Penn have written an entertaining film that has touching themes about making one’s own destiny and the importance of ownership of ones work. The talented Cast gets the assignment and bring it to life in a friendly way.
Reynolds gets to show range with Guy. When Molotov Girl finally tells Guy the truth about him being an NPC, Reynolds exposes the anger, confusion and fear Guy feels at his world turning upside down. Reynolds and Comer have great chemistry whether they are fighting bad guys or eating bubble-gum ice cream. Comer is great playing the action-hero Molotov Girl as well as the intelligent, sassy Millie. Joe Keery’s character Keys, has the biggest character arch in the Script. Keery shows in subtle beats the change from devoted worker-bee to impassioned rebel coder. Additionally, he tugs at heartstrings as the lovestruck friend to Millie. When it comes to villains you don’t get better than Taika Waititi. He plays Antoine, the Free City developer, with hilarious outbursts that perfectly fit with the inflated humour of the Film.
Free Guy is a laugh-out-loud, boisterous time with entertaining action sequences, touching themes and a fantastic Ensemble who bring their A-Game!
20th Century Studios Canada release FREE GUY on August 13, 2021.