Free Guy ties real-world messages into a fast-paced comedic plot


Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, gives viewers an enjoyable film experience while also carrying underlying inspirational themes. (promotional material courtesy of 20th Century Studios)

Free Guy, released August 13, 2021, is an amusing movie that also manages to have an inspirational message underneath the humor.  From the acting, to the plot, to the moral, Free Guy contains all the elements of a truly satisfactory movie.

Directed by Shawn Levy, the film follows two video game engineers named Keys and Millie (Joe Keery and Jodie Comer) who realize that one of the characters in their video game, Free City, is actually artificially intelligent and not being controlled by the players. Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who is known as “Blue Shirt Guy,” has become famous across the world because he is the game’s only hero.  

During these events, one of the engineers named Millie tries to prove that the coding for the game was actually created by her and Keys, the other engineer. The code for Free City has been stolen by a man named Antoine (Taika Watiti) who has tried to pass it off as his own. Throughout the course of Millie and Keys’ conquest to prove that this game is theirs, a romance sparks between them, adding another layer to the movie. The actors had obvious chemistry, so this was a smart casting choice. 

The acting in this movie, although none of the roles seem too emotionally demanding, was overall adequate. The roles were well-cast and it was enjoyable to see Joe Keery in a role outside of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. This movie was a comedy film, and though the jokes were not outstanding, Reynolds’ delivery and comedic timing made up for it. Reynolds did a terrific job of making a movie with serious undertones and a moderate amount of violence feel lighthearted in the best way possible.

Although I did not begin watching Free Guy with high expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the plot. There is an underlying motif in this movie about what it means to be “real.” Guy gets caught up in the fact that he is “not real” and begins to panic over it. The message that this movie is trying to portray is that what is and is not real does not matter; all that matters is that life should be enjoyed, regardless of possible harsh realities. During one of Guy’s breakdowns about his existence, or lack thereof, his best friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery) works to comfort him. 

“I am sitting here with my best friend trying to help him get through a tough time. Now if that’s not real, I don’t know what is,” Buddy said.

This is a positive message to send to viewers because it lets people know that sometimes they can get too caught up in the reality of things and the meaning of life. It is important to be grateful for what you have and try to be happy with it.

Although “Free Guy” was not the most memorable film I have seen, I found that it was both comical while upholding a strong message. This matters because many people may go to the theater to see a funny movie, and end up leaving with beneficial information. Therefore, I rate “Free Guy” four out of five stars and recommend it to anyone who is interested in video games, romance, action, and inspirational messages.