"Free Guy" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
"Free Guy", the latest film to star superstar Ryan Reynolds, has been advertised for over a year, due to Covid-19 shutting down theaters and pushing this film's release back multiple times. The trailer, which was shown before almost every film in the theater, showed an NPC (non-playable character) in a video game named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who decides he is done being the background character and wants to be the main character of his story. However, the film that seemed like a lot of fun from the trailer was definitely different than I was expecting - and not in a good way.
The movie can't decide what it wants to be, making it a muddled, incoherent mess throughout. It tries to appeal to the "Fortnite" audience today, while also trying to make numerous attempts at adult humor that doesn't work. Also, if you are uneducated about modern video games and the coding that goes on behind them, you will be confused through many of the different plot details. So, who is this film targeted for? I can't really say as it seems like it's targeted to a specific, tiny group of people, while also hoping it will appeal to others.
Reynolds, like almost every other comedy he is in, is hilarious throughout most of his scenes, but this was the only film where I felt his performance was annoying after a while, and ready for them to move on and try something else. There are definitely stellar moments, such as the "Good Guy" montage where he completes a number of quests to level up, but then they ruin it by making his character so dumb that it's rather annoying than funny. The same can be said for Taika Waititi's performance as well. He was perhaps more annoying and more excruciating to watch than Reynolds, which is really sad because Waititi is much better than this horrible role.
The film does have some amazing moments throughout all of this bad. The ending fight scene between Reynolds and another character (which I won't say due to it being a spoiler) was genuinely funny, and the numerous gags and homages were great to watch. The chemistry between Reynolds and Jodie Comer was great as well, and I wish they focused more on that and the video game world rather than the outside world. I honestly think that if the filmmaker did more in the video game world than the real world, the film could have been a lot better and could have perhaps garnered a higher rating in my book.