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Free Guy


Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi, Lil Rel Howery, Camille Kostek, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Channing Tatum, Chris Evans. Voices: Dwayne Johnson, Tina Fey, Hugh Jackman, John Krasinski

Director: Shawn Levy

Ryan Reynolds is one hell of a busy guy. This one follows hard on the heels of Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard. He still has Michael Bay's 6 Underground awaiting release, two more in post-production and another filming. Still, he and wife Blake Lively do have three daughters to support. And he should worry, for this one is great fun and should be pure gold at the box-office, making its star one of the most bankable actors in the world.

There are hints of Wreck-It Ralph and Tron here, but mostly of The Truman Show, with Reynolds, playing the eponymous Guy, as a cashier in Soonami City, smiling benignly and telling all his customers 'Don't have a good day. Have a GREAT day!' But here's the thing: Soonami City is one big, action-packed video game and Guy merely a non-participating player. In other words, he's not real...yet.

He wanders amiably through the city carrying his morning coffee, unaware of the mayhem going on around him, with Disney special effects working overtime. Until, that is, he meets Molotov Girl (Comer) a super-sassy action player masterminded by nerdy Millie (also Comer) back at base, as a sort of hi-tech puppeteer.

Molotov Girl opens Guy's eyes to the dangers of losing his city altogether, thanks to the machinations of king puppeteer Waititi, and he begins to create havoc as the 'blue shirt guy' seemingly unable to be taken out of the game by his masters.

'This place is all I have,' he tells Molotov Girl. 'So I'm not gonna be the good guy. I'm gonna be a GREAT guy.'

The script isn't always on the same level, however, although it does make room for a very funny cameo from Tatum as a maniacal gamer, and Reynolds' toothsome air of laidback innocence is perfect for the part. Enjoy.

David Quinlan

USA 2021. UK Distributor: Disney. Colour by Efilm.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 14 Aug 2021