By Andrew Wheeler ~ Assistant Opinion Editor
There’s a certain expectation surrounding movies based on video game properties, as companies all too often try to maximize profits without actually caring for the source material. When it was announced that Ryan Reynolds would be headlining Free Guy, a film with its own identity on top of numerous video game inspirations and elements, many were skeptical despite the charm he brings to projects. I was skeptical too, but I am happy to report that this movie is an exception to this concern.
Free Guy tells the story of Guy, a non-player character (NPC) in the world of a GTA-esque game called Free City, who begins gaining sentience over time after meeting a player character he feels a connection to. He overcomes his own status quo and manages to manifest the power player characters have on this imaginary world, much to the surprise of the real world players as well as the developers, causing further complications in both domains. Of course, there will be numerous references to real influencers and games sprinkled in there, on top of some fun cameos, but they are never handled distastefully. These moments are isolated and do nothing to take away from the underlying story going on, which is much more investing than many were worried it would be.
With a wonderfully comedic and heartfelt script, a talented cast, relevant video game commentary, and the ever-present charm one should expect from a Ryan Reynolds performance, Free Guy is exactly the feel-good type of film we all need right now.
Free Guy is airing exclusively in theaters.