Film Review: Guy Levels Up

Disney pulls Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy from its schedule

Free Guy is an action science fiction film directed by Shawn Levy. The script was written by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn. Ryan Reynolds is in the lead role as Guy, a bank teller who discovers that he is a non-player character in a video game called Free City. The cast includes Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi, and Channing Tatum. There are a number of surprising and amusing cameos as well, but I don’t want to spoil all of the surprises.

Even if one is not a gamer, there is plenty of enjoyment to be found. Free City is an open world video game where Guy is accustomed to the daily chaos of bank heists, insane car chases, and open warfare in the streets. He goes about his day in the midst of pixelated mayhem with a warm smile and a comfortable daily routine. A pretty face with the moniker Molotov Girl causes a deviation in his program where he decides he wants to be more involved in the world and make more profound choices.

In the real world, two programmers are reunited when they recognize certain codes from a game they had developed before their rift. Guy, in the meantime, has garnered a following as he tries to make decisions to help out his fellow Free City citizens.

As absurd as this story seems, it actually has quite a bit more depth and heart than expected. Reynolds, a gifted comedic actor, unexpectedly proves to be a perfect casting decision. I found that I was not that familiar with other members of the cast, but everyone seemed to hold up pretty well. There is quite a bit of hammy, over the top, performances, but this film was written well enough to handle it. The visual effects were also well designed and executed. At least, it seemed that way to me.

The film really does manage to deliver significantly more enjoyment than I expected.

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