FREE GUY (2021) – A sanitised Dead Pool that is just as much fun


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Ryan Reynolds plays a character inside a computer game that begins to evolve from merely a NPC (non participating character) in a violent video game, to a character that is able to think differently and develop some sort of artificial intelligence! The name of the imaginary town inside the computer game is Free Town and Reynold’s character is named simply Guy!

This admittedly ridiculous plot somehow works perfectly under the context of Free Guy since it is a fantasy comedy. With Ryan Reynolds in the helms we can expect even more unorthodox humour injected to the mix. However, those of you expecting a Deadpool level of mischief best manage your expectations because Free Guy comes across more like a Disney-sized offering. So don’t expect any profanities uttered or gratuitous violence. This is not surprising since Free Guy is from 20th Century Studios which has been acquired by Disney. In fact, the film took advantage of this relationship by freely making cheeky references to other Disney owned franchises like Star Wars, and The Avengers. Free Guy shows us that we can still have a lot of fun without the need to break bones, make lewd jokes or throw F bombs every minute.

It is Ryan Reynolds all the way as he takes center stage. All other characters are like, well, NPC’s. Along the way, there are some good humoured cameos from Channing Tatum and Chris Evans, and less conspicuously some voice only cameos from Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson and Tina Fey. The premise of someone slowly realising that his world is not real, and being controlled by a computer is nothing new. However, the creative computer graphics and crazy effects in the background and foreground makes watching this movie feel like you are multitasking in absorbing what’s happening on the screen. There is obviously influence from classic sci-fi classics like The Matrix which mixes the familiar with the new, that works out symbiotically well. Lastly there is of course Ryan Reynolds infectious brand of humour without which the movie would certainly have suffered.

Free Guy was directed by Shawn Levy who was producer and director of such films as Real Steel, Stranger Thing (Season One) and the Night at the Museum franchise. His familiarity with the genre certainly helps in making Free Guy flow so seamlessly. This may not win any Academy Awards or be even memorable a couple of months down the road, but it was certainly entertaining and fun while we watch it. It is inoffensive escapism that will make you laugh as you cast aside the hash unfunny realities of the real world outside. Much like what makes video games so addictive to the gamers.

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