For about three quarters of its runtime, Free Guy proves to be a funny, original, sweet and engaging movie. It features a refreshingly original premise and it has loads of energy to keep it on its toes.
It stars Ryan Reynolds as Guy, a bank teller living in the video game known as Free City. Guy is non-playable character who lives the same mundane routine every day, but then he realizes that the world he inhabits may not be what it seems. He puts on special glasses that allow him to see the world not as he sees it, but for what it is and what he can be.
Free City eventually gets a new program developed that allows Guy to become self-aware of his existence and during his aforementioned routine, he decides to stop a robber at his bank and it's a game changer so to speak.
Guy starts to develop unique abilities inside the game no one else has and this also leads to meeting a girl he's in love with, Millie (Jodie Comer) who also has special powers. Once they do meet, she tries to help him up his game and there's also a very sweet chemistry that they have which is much more believable than most romantic comedies nowadays.
Taika Waititi costars as Antwan, the publisher of the game who figures out about Guy's existence and wants to shut the game down worldwide. Waititi brings a lot of silliness to the role, but he proves to be menacing as well.
Normally characters in a movie like this are rarely compelling and memorable and they take a back seat to all the special effects. Not so with Free Guy. Sure, there's plenty of eye candy, but it's mostly in service to the story as when Guy learns to understand how to use his powers in the game. Give the movie credit for not having a sense of rapid fire storytelling just so the effects can be center stage. Not to mention there's also a hilarious bromance between Guy and Buddy (Lil Rey Howery), a security guard at Guy's bank that is equally as engaging as the romance.
Free Guy threatens to be overstuffed a bit at the beginning of its climax, but before and after that, this is one hilarious and clever movie. Screenwriters Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman deserve credit for the smart script and director Shawn Levy for providing over the terrific production design and sensational special effects.
Instead of saying game over, this movie is actually a winner. This is by far and away the most fun I've had the movies all summer.
(Rated PG-13 for strong fantasy violence throughout, language and crude/suggestive references.)