Movie review: Free Guy
Free Guy is one of those movies whose trailer does not do it justice. There is more than meets the eye to what appears to be just another silly, throwaway piece of fluff.
Very unexpectedly, this wildly enjoyable action comedy has turned out to be one of my favourite films of the year and totally worth stepping back into a cinema this week for.
Anyone craving a fun, escapist, feel-good romp is in for a treat, especially as this features Ryan Reynolds' most appealing performance since Deadpool.
Free Guy explores the journey of a man who has only ever existed simply in a curated, fake world, someone who exudes an obscene amount of positivity, innocence and cheerful optimism - until he discovers the only life he has known is not real.
The special effects-laden spectacles are well executed considering the setting is an immersive, ultra-violent virtual world where chaos and devastation reign. And yet the transitions to real-world events never seem jarring.
The movie also seems to have genuine affection for gaming culture, in its treatment of characters inside and outside the interface.
It is hardly as thought-provoking or esoteric as Blade Runner, The Matrix or The Truman Show, but Free Guy reinvents the wheel in its own way when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) becoming sentient and self-aware, and finding the humanity in the digital domain.
The rest of the cast also level up.
Those obsessed with Jodie Comer from the hit TV series Killing Eve will relish her first lead role in a Hollywood blockbuster and her romantic pairing with Reynolds, as their unlikely love story gives Free Guy its emotional beats.
She plays a brilliant video game designer and programmer, whose badass avatar Molotovgirl is just a few shades away from her most famous role to date - the psychopathic assassin Villanelle.
Then there are the hilarious scene-stealers.
Taika Waititi is obnoxiously over the top as Free City's greedy mogul-publisher and the villain of the piece. Channing Tatum pops up in the craziest way and shows off some sick moves, while a Marvel-lous cameo will get you cheering.
Warm, witty and well crafted, Free Guy comfortably takes its place in the bonus stage of its genre and is such a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby. Yes, you will not be able to get that Mariah Carey song out of your head too.
Score : 4/5
FILM: Free Guy
STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi
DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy
THE SKINNY: A bank teller (Reynolds) who discovers he is actually a non-player character in the open world video game Free City decides to become the hero of his own story, as he races against time to save his world before the developers shut it down over this AI glitch.