The less you actually question anything that happens in this two-and-a-half-minute chunk of Shawn Levy’s Free Guy is probably for the best, as the moment you attempt to apply any form of coherent logic to it, it threatens to fall apart as spectacularly as its video game NPC hero’s life does.
But, if you don’t engage that ol’ grey matter of yours, Free Guy — starring Ryan Reynolds as the titular Guy, a bank teller NPC in an open-world online GTA-meets-Fortnite Battle Royale pastiche apparently run by a villainous Taika Waititi — looks like a whole bunch of senseless action fun. Liberally taking its video game influence roots and running with it for a madcap, explosion-filled effects fest, the film follows Guy’s rote life as a cog in the machine until a chance encounter with a woman named Milly (Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer) gives him the realisation that being a game protagonist is much more fun than being an NPC.
It’s from there of course that Free Guy goes a bit doolally, turning Guy’s hapless life into a guns-blazing mashup of GTA, Need For Speed, and a little bit of classic Mario or Sonic style platforming and power-up collecting for good measure. Does it barely make any sense? Maybe. Does its understanding of any kind of video game logic or mechanics go out the window almost immediately? Absolutely. But Taika Waititi takes an axe to a server rack at one point, and that’s pretty funny.
According to the press release, the film also has cameos from “some of the video gaming world’s most influential figures”: Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott, Seán William “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, and Daniel “DanTDM” Middleton. You know, if that’s something that interests you.
Free Guy releases in theatres August 12.