I cringed in shame while watching Free Guy. I’m the sort of gamer who thrashes NPCs whenever I can.
Free Guy Synopsis
Meet Guy, a blue shirt-wearing bank employee who thinks his life is great, absolutely great, despite the outrageous amount of crime and violence in his city. After he gains a pair of shades in an unexpected event, Guy’s life becomes even more awesome; the shades enable him to join the inexplicable games happening around him. Little does Guy know that what he’s playing aren’t just games. His entire city, including him, are part of a MMORPG.
This was delightful! A movie that earnestly appealed to the lifelong video gamer in me!
A hilarious gem that I believe would entertain, and tickle, most non-players too.
What’s so awesome about it? For a start, the movie takes a really brutal dig at the less mentionable aspects of video gaming, both of and beyond the gamer. Taika Waititi’s Antwan is, for most parts, excessively theatrical. But his antics and staff abuse immediately reminded me of certain scandals and practices in the video game industry.
Specifically, Antwan’s setup is named Soonami. Doesn’t that sound like a certain veteran developer? One accused of severe staff abuse in 2015?
The whole practice of repackaging existing games with new skins and graphics, and selling those as new products. Isn’t that the case with all the HD, 3D, VR re-releases we’re getting?
There’s, of course, also Ryan Reynolds, whose boyish sweetness will tunnel its way into your heart. And for keyboard psychos like me, invites the disturbing questions of, why do you enjoy bashing innocent NPCs in open-world games? What kind of swine are you?!?
In certain titles, why do you help a little ol’ lady one moment, then proceed to brutalise a whole group of bystanders the next?
(I confess to doing the latter … a lot … when playing Sleeping Dogs. Just to guffaw at the hysterical reactions)
Lots of sly probing in this show, I’d say. Beneath the humor, charm, and action, there’s an entire layer of cultural questions worthy of tertiary theses.
Admittedly, the movie somewhat loses its creative drive in the last leg, dwindling to an incongruous Ready Player One mirror, or homage, during the end fight. The final moments also suggest a wariness toward taking a firmer stand against said dark gaming industry practices.
Nonetheless, all things considered, Free Guy is a witty and earnest deconstruction. Video game enthusiasts, or not, I think most viewers will be delighted by it. As I was.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.