Free Guy isn’t a good movie, it’s a great movie. Although I think it is very Deadpool light. Free Guy is also like Ready Player One with a dash of The Matrix, a drop of The LEGO Movie, and a touch of The Truman Show. It’s no secret that Ryan Reynolds practically plays himself nowadays. Although the concept of a self aware NPC in an open-world video game sounded cool, the marketing screamed PG-13 Deadpool. There were several jokes made about Disney since Fox developed the movie under the uncomfortable 20th Century Studios banner. Further delays included Deadpool & Korg crossovers and a muscular Ryan Reynolds interview.
It wasn’t until Free Guy finally hit theaters that I couldn’t help but have fun with the surprisingly heartfelt premise. Guy is just your average mild mannered bank teller who loves coffee, his Buddy played by Lil Rel, and “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey. Until he suddenly goes off-script and becomes the hero Free City deserves. Free City is an unmistakable combination of Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite. The movie’s video game appreciation is made clear with several cameos from real life YouTube and Twitch gamers. The heart comes from Guy falling in love with the sexy badass Molotov Girl. Killing Eve star Jodie Comer very convincingly plays both her British avatar and American player Millie.
Millie and her estranged co-creator Keys, played by a nerdier Joe Keery, have an unexpected impact on the game. Real world villain Antwan threatens to unplug the game if Guy isn’t deleted. This of course isn’t the first time Reynolds and Taika Waititi worked together (*cough* Green Lantern). There’s a nice sense of community when Guy fights to save his world’s existence. Although Free Guy isn’t without faults. It’s not Deadpool, but some jokes feel overly crude, PC, of blasphemous for my taste. Not to mention how profane it is without F bombs. The movie takes far better advantage of surprise celebrity cameos and unexpected references to Disney owned properties. The action is intense, but I expect nothing less from an entertaining shoot ’em up. Free Guy makes every concept work to its advantage.