Summer is officially still in full swing with new movies hitting theaters each weekend. One flick landing exclusively in theaters this weekend, and well worth a watch, is "Free Guy." It imagines a full-fledged video game world called Free City where you can be whoever you want to be, unless you're a non-player character. But that may change after the "Get a load of Blue Shirt Guy," or just Guy for short. To help make sure you're ready to pop into this new world, here are the 9 things you need to know before you watch "Free Guy." And do be sure to watch it in theaters this weekend.
Made For Gamers and Non-Gamers
Whether you're a hardcore gamer, a movie lover, or just a Ryan Reynolds fan, there's something here for everyone. For audiences out there who are fans of some of the crazy things they've seen from the Grand Theft Auto game franchise, we know they're going to love "Free Guy." But for those who aren't gamers, there are still plenty of reasons that you'll enjoy this film. One is that this flick takes you on a journey to another, fully realized world. This is the perfect little getaway if you want to escape from reality for a bit and watch Reynolds do what he does best.
There Are Certainly Some Interesting Characters
Most video games that people play offer a wide selection of characters. And the fictional video game featured in this film, known as Free City, is giving us a whole world of them. There's our main character who people call Blue Shirt Guy (Ryan Reynolds) as well as many other NPCs (non-playable characters) that are wandering Free City. There are also humans playing this game with their own decked-out custom characters. For instance, we have a cop with a thick moustache and his partner, a pink "rabbit" (although we think it's more accurate to call him a bunny). In Free City, you can be whatever you want to be...unless you're an NPC.
Prepare For Some Video Game Violence
This does have its fair share of "ooh" and "aah" moments, with most of them being remorsefully energetic "oohs." Even though it's just a game, the pain and suffering you'll see these NPCs go through will make you gasp to say the least. If you start as a background character and then try to jump into the life of an action character overnight, bad things will happen to you. The interesting thing about this flick for the gamers is that you might actually have a newfound respect for what the NPCs go through. They're just computers, but that doesn't mean that they deserve to get mowed down. With the GTA video game franchise being used as our prime example, next time you're about to shoot someone or hit them with your car, you might think twice.
Taika Waititi Is Playing the Villain
"Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi who also does some acting on occasion is the big baddie of this film. He was briefly featured in the recent film "The Suicide Squad" and is directing the upcoming film "Thor: Love and Thunder." Waititi is known for his brilliant directing and a few impressive acting performances. But he's never really been a villain like this before. The charming man from New Zealand plays the hipster video game publisher Antwan who has total control over Free City. We can't imagine Taika Waititi as being anything but nice. So it's intriguing to see his dark side.
There's No Shortage of Ridiculous Humor
As you'd expect from a Ryan Reynolds film, there's going to be a ton of absurd comedy. Ever since Reynolds created "Deadpool," his slapsticky persona has followed. Plus, Taika Waititi's in the villain's chair, so you can only imagine how hilarious he'll be as an evil boss. The film even has Lil Rel Howery as the happy-go-lucky best friend. He plays a security guard of a bank alongside Reynolds who plays a teller. No matter how many times these characters get robbed or beaten up, they always wake up with a smile on their face.
This Is a Story of Love and Friendship
When all of the NPCs in the game are really just lines of code that exist on a computer, can they really find love or friendship? The answer is yes. Even if the human players in the game might not see it, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And who's to say what moments are real and fake. Is it wrong if an NPC loves a human player, or vice versa? Or can two NPCs actually have a meaningful friendship even if they've been programmed to work together? We think so. Through all of the ones and zeroes there are true lessons to be learned in this flick, one being that anything can be real if you believe it is.
It's Full of Easter Eggs and Pop Culture References
Pay close attention when watching "Free Guy" because there are some things that we know you'll be happy to see. If you look away even for a second, you might miss them. The most important time to stay vigilant is towards the end of the film. And we can't tell you why. We can say there will be a moment where you're guaranteed to cheer and then laugh immediately after. For fans of certain Disney properties, they'll be ecstatic.
This Is a Love Letter to Game Designers and Coders
Something to note is the time and effort it must have taken director Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum") to make sure this video game film was made properly. The homage it pays to game designers and coders is incredible to see. Within the narrative of Free City, there's a parallel narrative showing the hard work and dedication that it takes to make such a monster of a game. For gamers especially, there will be multiple levels of appreciation.
Watch Out for Some Big Cameos
Our final item to know about "Free Guy" is that there are some terrific celebrity cameos. There's one entirely unexpected cameo straight out the gate. And then there are a few more that audiences will be super excited about. And there's one legendary cameo towards the end that that will make audiences laugh out loud. We can't give you any more hints because you need to see it for yourself.
August 13, 2021
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.