“Free Guy,” filmed by 20th Century Studios and released on August 13, brings the audience into the open world video game of Free City where reality, the status quo and becoming more than what is expected is tested through the entire movie.
The main character, Guy, played by Ryan Reynolds, was programmed to be a non-playable character, NPC, that works at the bank for the sole purpose of making the game more enjoyable.
Guy is stuck in his everyday routine, until he meets his love interest Molotovgirl, played by Jodie Comer, an avatar that was created by the character Millie in real life.
Millie and Keys, played by Joe Keery, developed the code for a different game called Life Itself, but it was stolen by the head developer of Soonami Games, Antwan, played by Taika Waititi, to create Free City.
Millie made Molotovgirl in order to enter into the game and find proof that their code was stolen. When Molotovgirl happened to be on the same street as Guy, singing his favorite song, “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey, he started to have feelings beyond his game roles.
For the first time in his existence, Guy wanted more for his life than just his standard routine, even though his best friend Buddy and the game’s other NPCs are too afraid of change to follow him.
His humanlike curiosity, hope for change and growth and desire to be seen as more than just a background character is relatable for viewers and provides inspiration for those wanting more in their life as well.
To impress Molotovgirl, Guy becomes a player in the game and levels up by becoming a good guy — helping others escape dangerous situations.
Guy’s action scenes were well choreographed, but the variety of gaming content creators, like Jacksepticeye and Pokimane, in the film really made it stand out.
When Keys and Millie took a deep dive in real life to find out more about Guy they realized their artificial intelligence original code worked and Guy was sentient.
Because of this, they needed Guy’s help in order to retrieve their stolen code in the game, before Antwan wipes out the game entirely. Millie had to tell Guy the truth of his existence which brought up heavy metaphors of what’s real and what isn’t.
When Guy spoke with Buddy about this, Buddy encouraged him with a powerful message saying that it doesn’t matter if the world surrounding them isn’t real, because the feelings he has towards his friendship with Guy and others is.
This invigorating conversation between two bros is empowering, validating the human experience and naturally occurring emotions that can be used as advice for all people.
The movie continues with Guy agreeing to help Molotovgirl find the code while asking all the Free City NPCs for their help and inspiring them to go beyond their in-game mechanics as well.
The battle between Antwan and Millie, Keys and the Free City NPCs continue in a flurry of fight scenes, destroyed buildings, Channing Tatum’s character essentially copying Fortnite dances, Reynolds’s face superimposed on a buff character and an Avengers reference.
“Free Guy” went further than just a movie trying to market off of new trends and gaming culture. It was a refreshing mix of comedy, heroism, breaking societal molds, validating others feelings, pushing what is real or not and a realistic portrayal of this generation’s interests. It’s enjoyable to watch for all ages and even for those with no gaming knowledge.
“Free Guy” is now exclusively in theaters.