'Free Guy' Hits on All Cylinders, Making It the Movie of the Summer (Review)

Summer movies are in full swing, and one of the more notable films will finally be released on Aug. 13. Free Guy, which stars Ryan Reynolds, Lil Rel Howery and Jodie Comer, was set to be released a year ago but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But after watching the action-packed two-hour blockbuster in theaters, the year-long wait is well worth it.

Reynolds plays Guy, a non-player character (NPC) working as a bank teller in an open world video game Free City. As the game progresses, Guy grows more aware of his existence in the game's universe and takes monumental steps to become a hero before developers shut it down ahead of the Free City 2 release. Guy knows about his role because of Millie (Comer) who is Molotov Girl in Free City. Millie and Keys (Joe Keery) are developers of a program that was inserted into Free City by publisher Antwan (Taikia Waititi), and the two are looking to take him down before it's too late.

Free Guy Ryan Reynolds
(Photo: 20th Century Studios )

Reynolds' role as Guy is similar to Jason Sudeikis' role in Ted Lasso or Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank in The Truman Show. Guy is a nice human being in a not-so-nice world. Like Ted Lasso and Truman Burbank, Guy is a person you can root for, and thanks to Reynolds, he has the perfect comedic timing. Additionally, Guy's best friend Buddy (Howery) is the voice of reason but also plays a big role in him becoming a hero.

The chemistry between Comer and Reynolds is an absolute joy and extremely fun as the pair make a great team. Free Guy is Comer's first big movie role ahead of her next epic The Last Duel from director Ridley Scott. But as with every performance of hers, stemming from the award-winning Killing Eve, Comer packs a punch, showing strength as a video game character but also has a vulnerable side when with Guy.

Two of the strongest performances come from Keery and Waititi. Keery, who is known for starring in the Netflix Original, Stranger Things, portrays the rootable Keys, who is against everything Antwan is doing. Waititi, best known for directing (and starring in) Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit, put his unique spin as the main antagonist of Free Guy, which makes him a guy you love to hate — and he does a solid job at it.

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Free Guy is a mix of The Truman Show and Ready Player One. With today's open-world video games, players can do whatever they want, meaning their characters will lie, cheat, steal and kill because they can. Guy, on the other hand, becomes a hero by doing all the right things, which is refreshing to see. Free Guy has the right amount of action, comedy, a little romance and surprising cameos to make this the surprise movie of the summer. One of the quotes Guy says in the film is "Don't have a good day, have a great day." Movie lovers will definitely have a great day after watching Free Guy.