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Free Guy (2021)

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7/10: Free Guy
Thursday, August 19, 2021

When I saw the trailer for this film, I was a bit 50/50 about seeing it, but I'm glad I went with it and saw it on the big screen, directed by Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen, Night at the Museum, Date Night). Basically, Free City is an open-world video game developed by Soonami Games.In the game, Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a non-player character (NPC), works at the bank and spends time with his best friend Buddy (Get Out's Lil Rel Howery), unaware his world is a video game. The game, originally called Life Itself, was developed by Walter "Keys" McKey (Joe Keery) and Millie Rusk (Jodie Comer), but its code was stolen and redeveloped into free City by Soonami's head developer Antwan (Taika Waititi). Keys has since taken a job at Soonami, while Millie spends time within Free City as her avatar Molotov Girl to find evidence of her and Keys's...

6/10: When the Truman Show Meets the Lego Movie
Monday, October 11, 2021

One of the biggest problems with movies these days are trailers. I say that because, well, it sort of kills some of the massive twists that could make the film much better. For instance, having a twists that Guy happens to be an NPC in a online shootem-up would have been pretty good. Then again, I'm not entirely sure if it would have worked out all that well anyway considering that the plot ended up being pretty predictable, and that we were accused of spoilers when in reality we have just pretty much figured out what was going on.As the trailer points out, Guy happens to be this NPC in an online shootem-up, and he meets this character that he falls in love with. It turns out that the character is actually a PC, and in fact there is more to this character than meets the eye. The thing is that the world is going to...

4/10: Meta, I guess
Monday, October 4, 2021

Free Guy should be a movie that I could have just shut my brain off to enjoy, but something in the back of my head kept punching me in the brain. It's a movie that rails against commercialism while being a major studio movie, a film that champions the individual while being an ersatz Ready Player One*, which is really just a patch off of The Last Starfighter, but I was enjoying its dumb summer movie energy and thinking, "Well, this would have been fun to watch in a packed theater when we still did those things."But then, spoiler warning, the main character used Captain America's shield and an actual lightsaber and I was out. Well, I was nearly out, then another character looked right into the camera and said, "He has a lightsabre!" as if we didn't know what it was in a moment that would have been smart if it were parody but really...

9/10: Great fun
Thursday, September 16, 2021

Free GuyGuy wakes up every morning, greets his goldfish, eats his cereal, gets the same coffee from the same barista (it's always too hot), greets his security guard friend as they walk to the bank where they work, all while armed robberies, car chases, helicopter crashes etc. Are going on around them. And thisis not odd, because Guy is an NPC - a non-playable character - in the online videogame Free City. He is essentially walking scenery, programmed with a specific set of behaviour. But then he starts to wonder where there might be more to life, and notices a girl (wearing sunglasses, indicating there is a real person behind her although Guy doesn't know this) and things begin to get interesting.All the above is made clear in the trailer, and there is a great deal of fun to be had from Guy breaking out of his programming and discovering the consequences of being in a videogame. But...

7/10: It's all about the man in blue
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Ryan Reynolds knows how to put a good, cheery, film together - and with this he has hit the mark once again. Its a sort computer-game based version of the "Truman Show" meets "Groundhog Day" effort this time, as he "Guy" encounters the feisty "Millie" (Jodie Comer) and soon the two are trying to break out of their contented, but routine and somewhat violent existence - discovering en route that that very existence is all part of a code and that they are but virtual playthings of subscribers.... Reynolds holds court here, the film is all about him and his ability to inject some gently pithy humour and excellent timing into the story. Comer is a perfect foil, and as the film gathers pace it turns into an engaging watch with loads going on and a fair bit of sarcasm - not a form of humour often seen these days. Taika Waititi steals his few scenes at the pompously named "Antwan" and...

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