Movie Review: Free Guy (English)

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Free Guy (English) Review {3.0/5} & Review Rating

FREE GUY is the story of a bank teller who discovers that he’s part of a video game. Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a non-player character (NPC) in an online, open-world video game called Free City. Guy, however, is unaware that he is in a video game. He works in the bank and spends time with his best friend and co-worker, a bank security guard named Buddy (Lil Rel Howery). Guy desires to fall in love and is waiting for the girl of his dreams to enter his life. One day, he comes across the Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer), who is singing the song that he dreams that his dream girl will like. Buddy warns Guy not to pursue her as ‘she is wearing sunglasses’ and is different from us. Guy, however, doesn’t heed his advice. He steals a sunglass from a person and suddenly, his life changes. Meanwhile, in the real world, Walter “Keys” McKey (Joe Keery) is working at Soonami Games, which owns the Free City game. Keys along with Millie Rusk (Jodie Comer) had developed a game called Life Itself. However, Soonami’s head developer and Keys’ current boss Antwan (Taika Waititi) stole Life Itself’s source code to create Free City. Millie spends her time playing Free City hoping to find evidence that can prove that Antwan stole their game. Her avatar in Free City is Molotov Girl and when Guy pursues her, the latter unintentionally becomes a part of her endeavour. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Matt Lieberman’s story is unique and mind-blowing. Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn’s screenplay is very entertaining. There’s not a single dull or sad moment and a lot is happening over its 115 minutes of run time. There are two tracks in the film, one dealing with the adventures in the video game and the other about the dramatic happenings in real life. The writers have balanced both these tracks and fleshed out the character beautifully. Dialogues are smart and also funny, wherever required.

Shawn Levy’s direction is appropriate and he keeps the narrative simplified. This was necessary as the concept is not that easy to decipher initially. The director introduces the world and also infuses some funny and unique moments to keep the interest going. On the flipside, though the makers have tried their best to ensure that audiences can understand the plot line, a section of viewers might still get confused, more so the ones who’ll watch in the dubbed version. Though the overall plot is one of its kind, a few individualistic scenes do give a déjà vu of films like THE TRUMAN SHOW, JUMANJI, WRECK IT RALPH etc. Lastly, FREE GUY has been awarded an adults-only certificate in India. This is shocking since the film is devoid of sex or profanities and should have ideally got a ‘U’ certificate. Hence, this might restrict the film’s business as families might not go for it, assuming that it has adult content.

FREE GUY’s opening scene is terrific and sets the mood. Guy’s entry and his everyday life are sure to make one smile. The fun actually begins when Guy dons sunglasses and starts doing good deeds to gain points. Meanwhile, Keys and Millie trying to prove Antwan’s crime also make for a great watch. The best is however reserved for the pre-climax and climax where tension levels rise, so does the entertainment quotient.

Ryan Reynolds, as expected, is at his best. The role doesn’t allow him to play to the gallery, a la DEADPOOL. Yet, he manages to add to the fun. Jodie Comer plays both the roles with ease and finesse. As Molotov Girl, she’s quite likeable. Joe Keery has a crucial part and delivers a fine performance. Taika Waititi goes over the top, as per the requirement of his character, and yet, he impresses a lot. He is apt for this role and he brings the required madness. Lil Rel Howery and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Mouser) are lovely in supporting parts. Britne Oldford (Barista), Camille Kostek (Bombshell) and Matty Cardarople (Keith the gamer) are decent. Channing Tatum (Revenjamin Buttons) is funny in the cameo. Chris Evans has a blink-and-a-miss appearance but he brings the house down.

Christophe Beck’s music enhances the impact. George Richmond’s cinematography is cinematic and the various developments are well captured. Ethan Tobman’s production design is elaborate and authentic. The interior of the Stash House, especially, is memorable. Action is first-rate and devoid of gore. VFX is out of this world. Dean Zimmerman’s editing is neat.

On the whole, FREE GUY rests on a unique plot and is laced with a watertight script, able direction and bravura performances. The film has chances to score majorly in the English version as the audiences who’ll watch the dubbed version might find the plot puzzling. Also, the film has been unfairly given an ‘A’ certificate and this might restrict the business.

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