Last night the wife and I went to a movie for the fist time in 2 years. A theater near us just reopened and there’s almost no one at any of the showings. There were 6 people in total in our theater for an opening night movie. We’ll see if the crowds come back someday, but for now, we enjoyed being able to stretch out a bit and enjoy a big screen.
Free Guy is a movie about an NPC (non-player character) in an open world online game that starts to become self-aware of the greater world. He’s no longer content to play the same part he has every single day and craves adventure. Needless to say his hijinks end up causing consequences in the real world, and the two collide in a fun and quirky way.
In order to keep this review spoiler free I’ll keep this short. First, Ryan Reynolds is an amazing talent, and when he finds characters like Guy to pour himself in to, it’s magic. He’s funny, charming, and just the right amount of naïve. He’s learning to explore the world that’s been created around him, and sees everything with a sense of wonder and awe. Since his world is inside a video game, there’s even more absurdity due to player characters treating NPC’s like disposable props for their enjoyment. Reynolds is supported by a wonderful cast that really brings the world of Free City to life.
Despite this, I do wish that a couple of key moments would have been extended just a bit. There is one critical scene in particular that I wanted to go on longer, and go deeper, but in the interest of moving to the next plot point they went for a quick realization and then moved on. I feel like the movie’s cast had enough chops that they could have pulled off something more poignant.
Also, as a technology person I do need to quibble a bit with some of the ideas that were shown. There’s one scene in particular that very likely could have killed one of the characters due to either electrical shock or potentially suffocation by halon gas. But obviously accuracy isn’t the biggest concern of the storytellers, so they let details like that slide. It’s not the end of the world, but for folks like myself there are some brief eye-rolls.
Despite this, I really enjoyed Free Guy and it was a super fun romp through a style of world that I’m quite familiar with. It had a lot of heart and warmth along with laughs. It’s visually beautiful and captured just the right amount of craziness that is a video game MMO. It was nice to be back in a theater, and this was a great film to start with.