Free Guy: how not to live in the background

Lindsay Steinberg, Copy Chief

“Free Guy” was released Aug. 13, despite a year long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the movie racked in a shocking $51 million on the global box office with its debut. A strong 28.4 million of that 51 million coming from theatres in the United States. A reason for the movie’s success could be from the fact it was only available in theatres, unlike many other movies released during the pandemic that were also available on a streaming platform. 

Casting Ryan Reynolds was an extremely smart decision on not only portraying the character, which was done exceptionally well as he does well in comedic yet action filled roles, but to generate excitement for the movie. This could have also been a factor in generating the surprising box office debut. 

For the movie itself, an ordinary banker named Guy, played by Reynolds, has his world flipped upside down after discovering he’s only a background character in an open-world video game titled Free City. The realization of wanting to create more for himself than just being in the background hits after he finds himself a potential love interest in Millie, played by Jodie Comer, who is also known under the gamertag Molotov Girl. Just like anything else in life, it doesn’t come easy to Guy, and leads the audience on a comical adventure on how you don’t have to be stuck in the background. 

Keys, played by Joe Keery, aids in Guy and Millie’s endeavors, and in result, Keys also ends up getting tangled in the journey the two take throughout Free City. This doesn’t come easy though as they have to endure road blocks due to Antoine, played by Taika Waititi, who is the owner of the game, Free City. 

In retrospect, “Free Guy” is close to having no originality when it comes to plot, but was executed surprisingly well. The sheer amount of references to other video games and pop culture is enough to make any video game fanatic happy, along with the shocking amount of cameos. All of which are scattered throughout the movie, even helping move the well-paced plot along at times. 

The humor might be a bit niche and definitely far more directed towards teenagers, which may be a bit unappealing to some audiences. Though, it comes down to exactly what someone’s type of humor is and could really be enjoyed by anyone. 

“Free Guy” was worth the wait, despite what may be mixed emotions from various audiences, the humor combined with a meaningful storyline made the movie worth it.