Most people will see FREE GUY, Hollywood's newest humongous offering from Ryan Reynolds, Hollywood's favorite action-star/comedy master, with legitimate suspicion. The concept appears to be a cheap copycat of films like Ready Player One or even The Matrix, done in a primitive manner to increase box office receipts. The real film, on the other hand, is a far cry from the worst predictions. 

Not only is FREE GUY consistently funny thanks to Reynolds and an original screenplay, and it's possibly the feel-good movie of the summer, but it also puts a lot of thought into the significance of its premise and holds up a mirror to modern-day video gaming culture.

To put it another way, Ryan Reynolds' consistent personality and comedy may be the primary reason this film works so well. Most of his banter is clearly written by him or improvised at the moment (I'm not sure how he didn't get a screenplay credit for this and the Deadpool films), and it makes the movie so much better overall. He also gets along well with the rest of the cast, particularly Jodie Comer and Joe Keery, two underappreciated performers who show here that they aren't just one-time stars from their respective tv shows (Killing Eve and Stranger Things). The cast comes together to make the most consistently amusing film of 2021.

However, this film isn't only about laughter and wild antics, though it might easily survive on that alone. Despite its virtual reality-based plot, FREE GUY has a lot of heart and sincerity, and it's about very human feelings like disillusionment, feeling vulnerable, and, of course, romance. There are points when the film's pleasant aspects feel like a charming romantic comedy and other times when it becomes so philosophical that it feels like The Truman Show. It never goes as far as the latter picture, but the fact that it even had the guts to address these issues made this lighthearted big-budget film far more enjoyable to watch.

Ratings: 5/5


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