Catchphrase. Review Point 1, something funny here, add third point.
There, review done! Hold on a minute! So this is a silly movie. Yes. It’s also a funny movie. Yes. Which is good, a good movie. I would say yes. But? But yes, it’s just that. All fluff. Nothing wrong with fluff. We all need fluff sometimes.
Blue Shirt Guy needs fluff, too. At times, I felt like watching the Lego Movie, can you hear the song… everything is awesome!? Well actually, not everything! NPC finds out he is an NPC and falls in love with a PC. A what? Sorry, again, a Non-Player Character “Guy” (Ryan Reynolds) falls in love with a Player Character “Millie” (Jodie Comer), who tells him that he is a virtual person inside a video game. Aren’t we all inside a game called life? This is not a blue pill red pill scenario, sorry you already made your choice. Guy on the other hand… he doesn’t really have a choice, because he will always just be a “program” and Millie will always be just a “user” (hello “Tron”), who will not be de-materialized to fight the evil AI… I mean Antwan from the inside.
So this is your typical good guy vs. bad guy plus love interest angle? Check. With the twist that the bad guy Antwan (Taika Waititi) loses in the end. Bummer. And here’s the actual rub, while the video game part is funny, the real world part is just cumbersome and drags the movie down. Still, we end up with a good for laughs film, full of cameos and references, including famous Youtube streamers such as Jacksepticeye, Pokimane, Ninja, LazarBeam and DanTDM, something that certainly appeals to the younger audience.
I would not go as far as to compare it to “The Truman Show” or “The Matrix”, as “Free Guy” just does not have that depth, even though it touches on the existential question of what is real, what is life? But in the words of Buddy (Lil Rel Howery): “I don’t even know what’s happening right now! But I love it!”. Or in other words, AI or not, sentient or not, ignorance is bliss. And a steak is a steak!