Review: Free Guy: Worth the wait?


by Caleb Geer, Staff Reporter

For a movie that has been teased for as long as it was because of a delay courtesy of COVID-19, I was still surprised upon my viewing of “Free Guy.” 

In my life, I have always remembered the end-of-summer movie season to be littered with disappointments. Rarely is there an end-of-summer movie that anyone regards as their favorite. Going into the theater to watch this movie, I felt like it would be more of the same crazy, cutting-edge CGI, but a plot that would be forgotten before I exited the theater, either because of its insignificance or obscurity.

Some of what I expected of this movie did occur. Ryan Reynolds, who many think of as only ever playing himself when it comes to movies, did indeed stick to the basis of how we know him on the big screen. Given, he did turn it down a bit to fit his character, named Guy, better.

The movie starts with Ryan Reynolds’ character being revealed as a non-playable character living in a game reminiscent of “Grand Theft Auto” which is called “Free City.” Guy, Reynolds’ character, mentally wakes up soon after, and becomes an independent being rather than the NPC he was programmed to be. Later, protagonist characters outside of the game, Keys and Millie, reveal that the game is going to be shut down soon by the company that developed it, effectively ending the world as Guy knows it. Add in the fact that both Keys and Millie are trying to prove that the game developer stole source codes from them to create the game, and you have many different conflicts to choose from.

To me, the whole movie felt nostalgic, bringing to mind other similar titles such as “Pixels,” “Ready Player One” and even “The Lego Movie.” This gave the movie a comfortable feeling like I had seen it before, but it also made the movie seem more predictable.

One of the biggest surprises to me about this movie was a more complicated plotline than expected with its wide array of conflicts. This was made possible because of major events happening in both the videogame world and the outside world. When the movie was coming to its end, with the major conflict having been solved, I was prepared to watch some credits and leave. However, the writers for the movie had other plans and revealed that another, more insignificant conflict was also solved. It was like I had watched a shell game take place and had guessed wrong. It was a good ending, especially since I was not expecting it. It added a level of unanticipated charm to the movie.

 In the end, the movie was good, but not spectacular. The movie was somehow both surprising and predictable, which made it slightly peculiar. The cast did a good job overall as lesser-known actors put on solid performances alongside Ryan Reynolds. For a movie I was not expecting much from, I surprisingly walked away satisfied – nothing more, and nothing less. That leads me to give this movie a solid 7 out of 10. Overall, I recommend seeing it for yourself.