Free Guy (2021)

A bank teller called Guy (Ryan Reynolds) realises he is a background character in an open world video game called Free City that will soon go offline.

While FREE GUY doesn’t go very deep into its themes, it’s still a fun exploration of the online gaming world and those who play the games. There’s plenty of rollicking action along with impressive special effects. There are also some references to actual video games and movies — so keep an eye out.
Ryan Reynolds is excellent as Guy (The Blue Shirt Guy, as he comes to be known). And when Jodie Comer (KILLING EVE) comes into the story, she adds a rich layer of humour and emotion. It’s excellent to see a fully flesh out female character who is as essential to the story as Reynolds’ character.
We’ve seen similar stories before about a game character becoming self-aware. What makes FREE GUY relevant is that is drawing on the psychosocial aspects of online gaming in the 21st century and the blurring, for players, of what is real and what is fiction. It does all this with enthusiastic respect for the gamers without being preachy.
FREE GUY is a little too tame. It could have been a lot edgier and provocative. I would have liked to have seen some deeper examination of the themes but, even without that, it’s entertaining. And if, like me, you are a fan of Reynolds, then you need to take a look!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

(In cinemas in Australia – check your movie guide for your local show times.)