Review: Free Guy

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“Free Guy” is a fun, family-friendly, energetic film. The title of the film is very fitting, as the storyline depicts a free-for-all experience where each individual, aside from Guy (Ryan Reynolds), takes advantage of others. They are characters in the game of life, or in this case, characters in an actual online game; Free City. 

Guy is an average individual, unbeknownst to the fact that he lacks a personal identity, and is irrelevant in the world of Free City. He lives every day with a structured routine, and has a basic day job working as a bank teller. While the simplicity of his daily life may be pitied by the audience, Guy is satisfied with his routine and his friendship with his colleague, Buddy, who works as the bank’s security guard. However, Guy’s regimen changes when he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, ambition, and determination. 

Guy’s literal character development unfolds before us when he interferes with a heist and uses a player’s special gaming glasses, beginning to see Free City in a new light. He participates in quests, levelling up, and gaining popularity amongst the other players. Guy becomes a gaming sensation; a zero-to-hero character. He even earns a new name: Blue Shirt Guy, due to his iconic blue shirts. 

“Free Guy” is visually appealing, full of colourful cinematography, stylized special effects, and a touch of personality. Ryan Reynolds naturally exudes charisma,and keeps the film light-hearted and captivating. The film explores the importance of creating one’s own destiny and a desire to feel accomplished, which Guy manages to do by using his newfound self-awareness to help the players of Free City improve their lives. This film draws inspiration from the aesthetics of video games, and highlights the inherent understanding that not everyone that you encounter online is ‘real’. People often change who they are in order to impress others, when in actuality, they should play games as themselves. As clearly depicted in this film, being yourself is the best reward.

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Catharine Horsley

Film Reviewer

Catharine Horsley is a film studies graduate from Carleton University, who is addicted to the cinema. She is very passionate about art, photography, and filmmaking. Her dream is to become a screenwriter or film critic. When Catharine isn’t watching movies, she finds joy in reading, writing, painting, and cooking.