“Character” / Free Guy
Genre action, fantasy, comedy
Directed by Shawn Levy
Starring Ryan Reynolds (Guy), Jodie Comer (Millie), Joe Keery (Kase), Taika Waititi (Antoine), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Mauser), Lil Rell (Buddy) and others.
Студии 20th Century Studios, 21 Laps Entertainment, Berlanti Productions
Release year 2021
The main character named Guy (Guy, played by Ryan Reynolds) works in a large bank, which is robbed by bandits endlessly. In other parts of the city, things are about the same, if not worse. Shootouts and powerful explosions take place in the streets, armed people run past, stealing cars, knocking down pedestrians, and above their heads, helicopters lose control and crash into skyscrapers. This does not bother the guy at all, he always wakes up with a smile and performs monotonous actions, not paying attention to the fact that every day becomes a copy of the previous one. The fact is that Guy is a non-player character (NPC) in an open-world video game, which he does not yet know about. But when the hero falls in love with the avatar and tries to become a full-fledged player, this will not only affect his universe, but also the developers from reality.
The main action of the film takes place in the Free City (Free City) – a virtual world that resembles a mixture of GTA Online and Fortnite with realistic graphics. This is a great basis for an action comedy in which absolutely any fight scenes are possible. Heroes, being inside the game, improve their skills and level up, and in case of failure, they start all over again.
The Character team includes director Shawn Levy, who worked on the Night at the Museum series of films, as well as screenwriter Zak Penn, known for the Ready Player One project. They turn the film into a light, funny and sometimes romantic adventure that captivates with its frivolous mood. This is exactly what you want to see in the summer box office, where you can choose for yourself the most entertaining spectacle, completely devoid of painful topics.
Of course, all the success of “Character” rests on the acting charm of Ryan Reynolds (who also acted as a producer of the tape). His ability to sneer at his images, as well as to depict good heroes going to a limitless gap, is a really successful comedy base, which is complemented by rich colors and deliberately naive dialogues.
Perhaps not all jokes will seem incredibly funny (but they are still much more successful and innocent than the Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard script). But from the film you get almost what you expect after watching numerous trailers and promos. That is, the path of leveling a positive character who discovers new skills, falls in love with another player and changes the rules of his world, remaining true to the catchphrase “Don’t have a good day, have a great day” (which, by the way, sounds great in Ukrainian adaptation).
Along with Ryan Reynolds, Free Guy stars Joe Keery (of Stranger Things fame) and Taika Waititi (director of What We Do in the Shadows; Thor: Ragnarok), who accepted the supporting role of an unscrupulous game company owner. Waititi is famous for his comical impromptu, but it is his lines that are lost in translation, so the expressive character is not as funny as we would like.
Also in the main cast of Free Guy is Jodie Comer (became popular after the series Killing Eve), who got a double role. Comer plays a real-world developer as well as an avatar with ulterior motives in the game’s playthrough.
And that is not all. It was previously reported that popular streamers Ninja, Jacksepticeye, LazarBeam, Pokimane and DanTDM will appear in the film in short episodes. However, the creators prudently kept the most interesting cameos a secret, preparing the audience with small but very memorable surprises (which are possible due to the fact that 20th Century Studios became part of Disney).
In short, Free Guy is a combination of a video game and the real world, which is made fun by the charisma of Ryan Reynolds. The creators get an entertaining action comedy with a variety of references, which also has a romantic line. Because of her, the screen sometimes becomes less action, but in general the film lives up to expectations.
Pros: Ryan Reynolds as an NPC; action comedy in video game format; references and cameo surprises Cons: not all jokes work; moments of romance replaces action. Conclusion:
from the film you get exactly what you expect after watching numerous trailers and promos.