*No twists are being spoiled here…
When a bank teller discovers he’s actually a background player in an open-world video game, he decides to become the hero of his own story — one that he can rewrite himself. In a world where there’s no limits, he’s determined to save the day his way before it’s too late, and maybe find a little romance with the coder who conceived him.
“Don’t have a good day, have a great day”
Oh man Juicers, sometimes in all the craziness that is cinema these days we forget that movies are just supposed to be fun. The Suicide Squad was an injection of energy, but it has too much gore to be pure fun. So walking out of Free Guy all I felt was how much we all need this movie right now. We over analyze everything these days and Free Guy is a movie you can just sit back and enjoy without having to worry about too many things.
Directed by the great Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen, Night at the Museum, Real Steel) he brings his comedy chops to his partnership with the also great Ryan Reynolds. It feels like a match made in heaven, because Levy can make high level comedies and Reynolds can just do his Van Wilder/Deadpool thing and make anything funny. But, the real genius of Free Guy is that it feels like a completely fresh idea for a story. It has pieces of Ready Player One, The Lego Movie and others but seeing a movie just about a video game side character is something you would never have thought about. However, dropping into the world and getting to just ride with Guy as all the craziness of the game ensues around him is extremely engaging. And you can tell Levy and Reynolds had a lot of fun just experimenting with different things they can do inside this world because they try a number of different gags that mostly land and have a great audience reaction. My favorite was cutting away to the people in the real world to see who was playing as the characters in the game.
The other aspect that makes this movie hum is the great cast of course. Jodie Comer has a star making performance (more on that in a bit), Taika Waititi, Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and somehow Lil Rel found his way into this as well. Everyone is so funny and seems like they are fully committed to the bit and enjoying the ride. The movie also hit the emotional beats at the end and got the tears going a bit, so it checked all my boxes. What more could I really ask for?
Stock Neutral – Ryan Reynolds
This guy is on top of the world and can do anything he wants right now. It really is just a matter of how long her will continue to dominate the comedy/superhero space. He does give a rather nuianced performance here though so I would like to see him continue to challenge himself and not just stay in his comfort zone.
Stock Up – Jodie Comer
She was the MVP of the movie in my book because she basically had to play. two different characters. Her real world American kind of out of control self, and her British avatar in the game where she seems completely confident and in control. She also was able to quickly establish great chemistry with Reynolds. For years she has been killing it on TV with Killing Eve but she seems primed for a major breakout. She will star in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel later this year.
Stock Up – Joe Keery
Him and Shawn Levy started their relationship on Stranger Things and he seems to have found a star. Keery was great throughout the entire movie. He was funny, smart, and you felt for him when you were supposed to. He has a very bright future.
*A couple other tidbits
- I like how Shawn Levy, like Spielberg for Ready Player One, filmed the Real World on Film and the Video Game World on Digital, so that it distinguished them. Both looked fantastic.
- Taika Waititi is just so funny, put him in everything.
- Again, how is Lil Rel just in every movie?
- The cameo at the climax of the movie was an all time theater moment.
- Dude is an incredible character.
Like I said this is just the movie we needed right now. It is fun, action packed, hilarious, and hits the emotional beats at the end. It is not the best or most artistic movie of the year, but it is one I will rewatch numerous times. I would recommend this to anyone in my life right now.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find my Shawn Levy Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.