Free Guy Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

A forty-year-old guy named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) wakes up every day in the best apartment in the world, located in Free City, greets a fish in an aquarium, puts on a blue shirt and, having stopped at a cafe on the way to drink coffee with cream, comes to work in his a favorite bank that gets robbed every day, which both Guy himself and his best friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), who works at the same bank, are quite used to.

In this city there are people like Guy, Buddy and others, but also people with black glasses appear there: here they are – completely different! The men in the black glasses are heavily armed, constantly shooting with someone, robbing banks, chasing someone in cars and acting like guys like Guy and Buddy are just expendable.

Unbeknownst to Guy and Buddy, they are expendable NPCs in the Free City computer game who only perform certain functions.

The game with artificial intelligence was once invented by Kees (Joe Keery) and Millie (Jody Comer), but they sold it to the owner of a cool company, Antoine (Taika Waititi), and he didn’t use the game like how, but instead launched a stupid shooter Free City , which has conquered almost the entire world, but Millie believes that Antoine actually used part of their code for Free City, which he skillfully hid in the game.

Millie, in the form of a playable character – a girl named Molotov – participates in the game: she hopes to get proof that Antoine illegally used their code. At some point, while in the game, Millie meets Guy. The guy falls in love with her and, in order to win the love of the girl, begins to behave like a game character, while not resorting to violence. Millie believes that some hacker is behind Guy in real life. However, Guy is a purely game character, it’s just not so simple with him.


The synopsis for this movie was very similar to the 2019 hit “Ready Player One” by Steven Spielberg. Also two worlds – real and game, also references to various famous games, as well as a certain interaction of game and real characters. Also in the “Protagonist” there are clear references to the famous film “The Truman Show”, in which the main character found out that he was not in the real world, but in some show created especially for him.

Yes, there are certain intersections with these two films, but the “Protagonist” is a completely independent work, and it cannot be said that the filmmakers are copying something.

Here, in general, there is an interesting and rather skillfully made fusion of various genres: this is a fantastic action movie, and a romantic comedy, and a spectacularly designed game world, and a confrontation with a certain conditional villain (the same Antoine).

From a plot point of view, everything here is thought out very well: there are, of course, certain simplifications and some exaggerations, but the picture is clearly designed for a teenage audience, so we had no complaints about the script with the cat Bagel. By the way, one of the two screenwriters is Zack Penn, and he just wrote the script for Ready Player One with Steven Spielberg and worked on the script for the first Avengers together with Joss Whedon.

Ryan Reynolds as the main character of the picture, on the one hand, evokes certain associations with Deadpool, but, on the other hand, this is a completely different character, completely different from Deadpool. Initially, Guy (Guy is just a “guy”, his friend Buddy is a “buddy”, the playable character Dude appears closer to the end – “dude”) is just a consumable in the game, a non-player character (NPC – Non-Player Character) , some function controlled not by the player, but by the game itself. However, Guy, having once tried on the black glasses of a game character, begins to develop very quickly and becomes very popular.

Ryan Reynolds, as usual, brought a lot of irony and good humor to his role, but, again, Guy is not Deadpool at all, this is a completely different character. And Reynolds played him just fine – however, as usual. And he easily moved from the role of a practically faceless game function to a real game superhero, without losing the ironic attitude to his character.

The second main character of the picture is the creator of the original Millie game, played by Jodie Comer. I also really liked it, and Millie acted here both as a real person and as the heroine of Free City. At the same time, Jodie looked very good in both guises: both real and combat.

Her partner in the original game, Keyes, was portrayed by Joe Keery. Also a good role – Kiri, on the one hand, turned out to be such a seemingly typical computer nerd, but, on the other hand, Keyes is an interesting and charismatic character. He faced a serious dilemma there: after all, he works for Antoine, and Millie confronts his boss and is going to sue Antoine, but Keyes is clearly in love with Millie and, of course, will help her, although at the same time he risks losing his job.

In the role of Antoine, Taika Waititi was famously fooling around: the character turned out to be completely grotesque, but he was exactly as he should have been. In the original, Waititi spoke with a very funny accent and funny mangled words: unfortunately, in the dub, his accent was completely lost. By the way, in dubbing, Antoine’s speech was stuffed with all sorts of youth slang, which, interestingly, was not in the original.

The character Dude that Antoine launches into the game towards the end was portrayed by Aaron Reid, a Super League professional bodybuilder, professional wrestler and actor. By the way, he is also the tallest bodybuilder in the world: his height is two meters and one centimeter.

Well, Channing Tatum also has just one, but very funny episode, in which Channing selflessly retracts as the playable character of one dull streamer.

From the point of view of special effects, everything here is done at a very high level – I was directly impressed. All these cool races, chases and shootouts at times looked a little cartoony and game-like, but it all happens in the game, so it looked quite authentic.

Fun, dynamic, ironic, good humor, a funny story, cool special effects – Bublik and I really liked it, we looked with great pleasure. We’ll probably even reconsider.


video version of the review


Protagonist / Free Guy review

Director: Shawn Levy Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jody Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Taika Waititi, Aaron Reed, Britney Aldford, Camille Kostek, Mark Liner, Channing Tatum

Budget: $120 million

Fantastic action rom-com game, USA-Canada, 2021, 115 min.

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