Film Review: 'Free Guy' Doesn’t Play Around When It Comes to Delivering a Good Time

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CHICAGO – Playing video games is one of the single most infuriating experiences that I continue to put myself through. One of my few masochistic traits emerge whenever I boot up my PC or PS4 … and that’s because I always feel the need to play every game on the most difficult setting. This leads to a seemingly endless cycle of fighting, killing, dying, and then starting all over and trying again.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Einstein said it best when he gave us his definition of what constitutes “insanity,” and if he were alive today he would likely diagnose my attempt to beat any Dark Souls game on the hardest difficulty as just that. There’s a great level of satisfaction in beating that cycle and reaching the end, which is something video game-influenced film Free Guy knows a thing or two about.

Whether it’s an Indie or Triple-A level game, the substance will always outshine the visual elements. In this film’s case, they have plenty of both to spare. Together, director Shawn Levy and writers Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn, blend their respective talents in such a skillful way that this story feels layered with both comedy and heart. There is a surprising amount of nuance involved considering the filmmakers have to juggle two worlds and several character arcs. That is not to say that the storylines are anything next-gen worthy, but we get more than we expect from this Ryan Reynolds-produced feature, considering what we got with the last film he was the lead in, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. One of the most gratifying elements of the film was how accurately they crafted a live-action version of an open-world video game. It was obviously oversimplified so as to not alienate people who don’t play video games, but at no moment does it talk down to the veteran gamers.

“Free Guy” in theaters on August 13th. Featuring Ryan Reynolds, Lil Rel Howery, Jodie Comer, Joe Kerry, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Taika Waititi, and Channing Tatum. Directed by Shawn Levy. Written by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn. Rated “PG-13”

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Free Guy”

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Photo credit: 20th Century Studios

StarClick here for Jon Espino’s full review of “Free Guy”

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