Free Guy (2021)



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Free Guy attempts to answer the question, can someone that is programmed to love you make a seventeen-year age gap not a problem? Ryan Reynolds is a Non-Player Character, NPC, named Guy inside a Grand Theft Auto style game. Jodie Comer is a coder/gamer named Millie outside the game and Molotov Girl inside the game. Joe Keery plays Keys, who developed an indie game with Millie, but now works for a large video game publisher. That publisher is headed by Antwan, played by a wonderfully over-the-top Taika Waititi. I did not know he was in the film before his first appearance on screen and it was the best surprise.


Millie and Keys developed a game where the NPCs inside it were built with Artificial Intelligence, AI, so that they could evolve and gain self-awareness. Millie is convinced that the code she developed has been integrated into Antwan’s game, Free City, and she is determined to find it. Keys is less convinced and works inside the belly of the beast at Antwan’s studio.


The film flips between the video game world of Free City and the real world. Molotov Girl appeared to have a CGI coating over Comer that got into the uncanny valley for me. Each time she was on screen there was something slightly off that distracted me. Otherwise, the world of Free City seemed like a good representation of a video game.


Video Game movies are hard. Jumanji did a great job, but there have been plenty of failures. I wish the film had found another path than a love story, especially to wrap the film up. It is possible to have opposite-sex plutonic relationships! This film is doing better in theaters and with audiences than you would expect, so become part of that audience and go see it you will be entertained.

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