‘Free Guy’: Ryan Reynolds’ video game blockbuster levels up his acting career


Lauren Miranda

Shawn Levy’s “Free Guy” is available for streaming on all major digital platforms.

Lauren Miranda, Freelance Writer

It is no surprise Shawn Levy’s “Free Guy” is nominated for multiple awards this upcoming year. Released on Aug. 13 and already snagging a People’s Choice Award nominee for Favorite Comedic Movie, Comedy Movie Star of the Year and Favorite Movie Actor, Ryan Reynolds and his supporting cast proves to be the charming and witty comedic value carrying “Free Guy” to the top of every comedy lovers list.

The PG-13 rated film is centered around Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who is satisfied with his monotonous life as an NPC (non-playable character) in the open-world video game Free City. However, that all changes when he meets a player named Millie (Jodie Comer), who is trying to prove that Antwan (Taika Waititi), a money-hungry video game mogul, stole her game. Millie teams up with her partner Keys (Joe Keery) and a leveled-up Guy, who has become a viral sensation around the world, to attempt a code heist to prove her game was stolen and save their video game world from destruction.

“Free Guy” is just as entertaining as its main character; Reynolds taps into his classic charisma to deliver his nice guy humor and lively portrayal of his video game self. The emotional range in what is thought to be a surface level character is outstanding, and Reynolds’ comedic timing and relatable persona is what makes the movie so enjoyable to watch.

Reynolds isn’t the only entertaining character pulling his weight in this comedy-action movie; the side characters provide various comedic-relief moments that leave the audience with a certain affinity even for the presented villain. Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), who is literally Guy’s buddy, is a great example of the movie’s agreeable side-characters that charm the audience.

Other delightful features include the multiple cameos throughout the film. Surprise appearances include Alex Trebek, Channing Tatum, Chris Evans and Tina Fey, as well as many voice-only cameos: John Krasinski, Dwayne Johnson and Hugh Jackman to name a few. Popular video game streamers Ninja, Pokimane and Lazarbeam also appeared multiple times to stream the game in real life, which added a realistic and engaging aspect much of the intended audience would appreciate.

But was this movie innovative and memorable? The answer is no; the storyline and romantic subplot is predictable and the jokes, although funny, are never surprising. The ending wraps the movie up in a perfectly resolved, perfectly boring bow that although gives viewers peace of mind, doesn’t create much anticipation or buzz for a franchise series.

However, Disney did announce a “Free Guy” sequel likely set for a late 2023 or 2024 release date. Although most viewers aren’t waiting on the edge of their seats for the upcoming film, it will be interesting to see what new adventure everyone’s favorite NPC has in store.