Actually, the new action comedy by director Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum” “Stranger Things”) should be in cinemas in 2020. Then, however, the pandemic thwarted the project and the start had to be postponed 3 times. During the time, co-producer Ryan Reynolds was not completely idle and recently even surprised with a Disney Deadpool crossover to shorten the waiting time. And that much is certain, the wait for the video game-inspired action hit was worth it – because “Free Guy” is actually a real summer blockbuster with a surprising amount of heart and charm. The film is since 12.8. seen in the cinema.
by Madeleien Eger
For Guy (Ryan Reynolds) every day in Free City is the same: Always the same blue shirt, always the same morning coffee and always the same uneventful working day at the bank. In a city where, strangely enough, robots on the streets and wild shootings are part of the cityscape, even the daily bank robbery becomes an unspectacular routine. Nevertheless, Guy senses that there has to be more for him and that his dream woman is out there somewhere. One day he meets MolotovGirl (Jodie Cormer). She’s one of those in Free City who were chosen to be one of the city’s heroes with cool glasses – and Guy is anything but that. To get to know them anyway, Guy gets one of the glasses himself and finds out that Free City is just a video game, he’s a minor NPC (non-playable character) in it and MolotovGirl in the real world Millie. The first shock has hardly been processed, and the next catastrophe is already looming: Because Free City is threatened with extinction and Guy now has to surpass himself in order to be able to save his world …
As soon as they arrive in Free City, gamers in particular will notice the games from which the makers were inspired. GTA, Fortnite or Sim City were role models for the open world game by Free City, in which the good-hearted but thoroughly naive guy ekes out his existence. Nevertheless, the film not only makes use of a number of video game references, but also reminds of films like “The Truman Show”, “The LEGO Movie” or „Ready Player One“. But despite a number of Easter eggs and similarities, “Free Guy” still has an original and original idea that is not based on well-known brands, comes along as a reboot or sequel and thus establishes a new charismatic character.
The two main actors Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer do a great job. Ryan Reynolds, this time not in Deadpool fashion, plays the unsuspecting guy with incredibly contagious joy and curiosity and also shines in a number of wonderfully choreographed action sequences. Although Reynolds brings an absolute sympathetic figure to the screen, with whom one is excited from the first minute, it is Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”) who often steals the show from him as a tough Molotov girl or passionate game developer Millie. Comer, who actually celebrates her big screen debut with “Free Guy”, can give her character exactly the necessary complexity to skillfully link two completely different worlds.
In any case, the changes from the game to the real world work almost fluently, whereby “Free Guy” even manages to locate the film in the here and now. Die-hard gaming fans should recognize one or the other Twitch star. But also for noobs (as newcomers in the game world are often called) the film has one or two socially critical comments ready and enables access to the world of Free City. For example, when Millie, to Guy’s surprise, has to admit that gun violence is a bigger problem in the real world as well, or when people comment on how people interact with one another in the game.
Although the film is developing into a true feast for the senses, especially for gamers, “Free Guy” is, contrary to the assumption, not primarily a film about video games. Rather, behind the loud and colorful world around Free City hides a story about the courage and curiosity to leave your comfort zone, to discover the world through different eyes and also a film about love, humanity and friendship. “Free Guy” creates a great balance and thus becomes an exciting, funny and surprisingly amiable blockbuster with a feel-good factor.
“Free Guy” is the movie blockbuster of the summer: A great acting ensemble, charming characters, lots of humor and unbeatable good action. “Free Guy” is not stingy with Easter eggs, unexpected cameos and an unforgettable scene that should especially inspire Marvel fans.
Bilder: (c) 20th Century Studios/Walt Disney