FREE GUY is more evidence that the better video game movies aren’t direct IP adaptations but about gaming itself. You’ll get a lot more out of it if you’re a gamer, if you know the conventions, mechanics and player behaviour (good or bad), but there are more than enough broader comic beats and more mainstream pop culture references for most viewers to get by. Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is content in his loop as an NPC in Free City until he meets player Millie/Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) who is trying to bring down morally bereft gaming CEO Antwan (Taika Waititi) for code theft. Cue Guy choosing to be a non-lethal hero in his quest to help Millie as every player around him continues to whip out bazookas and attack helicopters. The film may not break any new ground and is firmly in Reynolds’ usual ballpark, but he and Comer keep things lively and before long the excess of college humour gives way to pretty sizeable heart. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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