Free Guy Should Be ‘No Charge’

Ryan Reynolds’ newest endeavor disappoints at the box office.


Above: Ryan Reynolds stars in Free Guy with famous cast

Ethan Caswell, Staff Writer

Recently, I had the opportunity to see a movie called Free Guy that has been out for a few weeks. It has an actor, Ryan Reynolds, that I typically enjoy seeing. There were also several famous actors in the movie like Joe Keery from Stranger Things, Channing Tatum, and comedian Lil Rey Howery from Get Out and Tag.

The movie is about a guy named Guy who is normally a dispensable background character in a video game but doesn’t know it until one day he puts on “player glasses” and sees his world through a game player’s eyes. Once realizing this, he tries to go off-script and do unpredictable things his background character wouldn’t normally do, including trying to win a mysterious girl over that is playing in the game. During this process, it is realized that he has become intelligent AI with feelings which will forever change the game’s dynamics. He and this girl try to save his digital world before it gets unplugged by a cowardly game developer who doesn’t want to see the storyline in the game succeed.

I like Ryan Reynolds typically in other movies, but did not personally find the character he played as very likeable. He was very dorky and unrealistic. Everything about him was very boring, down to his glasses, generic blue shirt, and khaki pants. I also did not enjoy the repetition of Ryan Reynolds’ day beginning the same over and over again throughout the movie. I also did not like it going from what seemed to be reality to bad video graphics, layered on top of each other. It was very confusing to tell what was actually happening and what was not, with the lines of reality and pretend blurred.

Additionally, I did not like or understand the video game references throughout the movie. I am not that much of a gamer so a lot of the terms were not familiar to me and the humor used in references to other games went over my head. For example, the term ‘NPC’ was used repeatedly throughout the movie. I had no idea what that means and had to ask someone. I found out later that ‘NPC’ stands for ‘nonplayer character’ which are the unimportant players in the background of games. How is someone who doesn’t game supposed to know that? I feel that they assumed that everyone seeing the movie played video games.  Strangely, the Avengers cameos featured in the movie did not make any sense to me either (Captain America, his shield, and Hulk’s fist, plus the light saber from Star Wars). It seemed like it shouldn’t have been in there.

On a positive note, I thought some of the fighting, gun and car scenes were good graphically. And I do want to point out that I was the only person in my movie-going group that did not like the movie. The others loved Ryan Reynold’s humor which seemed very reminiscent of his Deadpool character, especially in sarcasm. They also loved the Marvel references in the movie as they are big Marvel fans.

I am giving this movie a total of 2 out of 5 stars. It was a disappointment for me, but it may be my expectation for Ryan Reynolds are pretty high. My advice would be to wait for it to come out on video or streaming if you’re a gamer and like silly comedies or romances.