/ 24 August 2023

Free Guy is a laugh, a cry and a scream

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No free lunch: Ryan Reynolds plays the hero, Guy, in ‘Free Guy’.

What if we’re all non-player characters (NPCs) in an elaborate game, with no control or free will?

Free Guy presents the question, “What if NPCs became conscious of their existence?” In the movie, the distinction between player characters (PCs) and NPCs is that PCs wear glasses, usually sunglasses.

Ryan Reynolds’s character, Guy, is an NPC bank teller. He spends his days getting coffee, working, and being involved in bank heists with his best friend, Buddy, played by Lil Rel Howery. 

When Guy steals the sunglasses off a PC, he gains a new perspective on the world he thought he knew, making him the first sentient AI creation.

Our hero is an unsuspecting individual with a regular lifestyle, fighting a villain who is more powerful and has more influence than him. 

The villain is the game developer and owner of the company Antwan, played by Taika Waititi. 

Antwan wants to create a sequel to the game Free City, however, to do this, he must destroy the original. Guy isn’t Antwan’s only problem — the creators are after him for stealing the original game concept.

On the technical front, the VFX was well done. The team created a game world and, at times, had to animate actors such as Reynolds and Channing Tatum. This is a city with constant violence, explosions and game-play screens that can only be seen by PCs with glasses. I can only imagine how much organisation went into VFX alone.

The action comedy is a rollercoaster of emotions. You’ll laugh, cry and scream at the screen. 

My favourite thing about it is how it immerses you in the Free City universe.

The star-studded cast never misses an opportunity to throw in a joke. Reynolds, Howery and Waititi are great comedic actors and Free Guy highlights their strengths and talents.

Free Guy should be on your movie-night list. I recommend either watching it first, after a horror movie, or last. It has the right amount of action, humour and commentary.