Buzz’s Review of “Free Guy”
Disney’s “Free Guy” isn’t a memorable or impactful movie but it’s fun while you’re watching it. I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t like Ryan Reynolds, so he makes for a great “everyman” who aspires to something more than his workaday humdrum existence. Sound familiar? It should.
There are thousands of movies and other media (books, plays, serious philosophical tomes) that explore this age-old theme. The most obvious nods are to “The Matrix” with some “Ready: Player One” thrown in as well as some “brain-in-a-vat” thought experiment or, if you want to go really old-school, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
If a cave-dweller were to get a glimpse of the “real world” outside the cave, how would they ever explain what he saw to his kin who had never been outside the cave? If this sounds like pretty heady stuff, don’t worry. “Free Guy” doesn’t get beyond a superficial level with any of this. But, it’s a fun way to spend a couple of hours in an honest-to-goodness movie theater.
The thing I appreciated about “Free Guy” is that it plays all the tropes of a ridiculous over-the-top action movie (think ANY Fast and/or Furious film) but it does it while satirizing the genre while also playing it fully to the hilt. Drive a car off a rooftop? Fine! It’s in a video game. In this way “Free Guy” is a fully O.T.T. action film that follows its own internal rules. In this regard, “Free Guy” is more enjoyable than “Ready: Player One” but not nearly as deep as “The Matrix”. You won’t find yourself thinking, “whoa” like we all did when we realized what the Matrix actually was.
If you had any doubt “Free Guy” is a Disney property, there are cameos from the Marvel AND Star Wars universes. The cast is really good. Reynold’s is at peak Reynoldshood and Joe Keery from “Stranger Things” proves he belongs on the big screen as well. But, it’s Jodie Comer who’s the real breakthrough here. Amid all the cartoonish action and Reynolds-related charisma, it’s her part as Millie that makes you know that another amazing young female actor is going to be a big, big star.
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