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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Fey Urge

Free Guy on IMDb

Plot Overview

boy and girl on computerWalter “Keys” McKey (Joe Keery) developed the characters for a video game called Life Itself, and Millie Rusk (Jodie Comer) wrote its AI programming. Soonami Studios head developer Antwan (Taika Waititi) stole it from them and incorporated it into his online video game Free City. To find proof of the theft, Millie has infiltrated Free City through her avatar Molotov Girl, and Keys has become an employee of Soonami.

girl on computerWhile searching for a hidden level Molotov Girl crosses paths with a non-player character (NPC) Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who had some enhanced programming to respond to a song Millie hums. The love bug done bit him and he begins acting strange. Due to the software's ability to have characters evolve, he soon becomes sentient. Known now as Blue Shirt Guy he acquires an international following.

glassAntwan is set to unveil Free City 2 in 48 hours and it's not back­wards-compatible with Free 1. This means all the former characters will vanish into oblivion including the sentient one(s). Antwan cannot be persuaded to change course as he needs to protect him­self from discovery of his soft­ware theft. Blue Shirt Guy activates other NPC's in the game to take a stand. This creates a furor the likes of which was not seen since Horton heard a Who.


When a game goes off-line the people playing it still exist in the real world. Not so for a game-defined entity whose fate would be more along the lines of an Adam Hall novel:

He endeavored to evade termination. That one's easy enough: the poor bastard broke the door down and took the stairs and got to the top floor but they'd been waiting for that and he went through the window because they'd opened fire and there was nothing he could lose but this time he wasn't lucky because there was only a glass canopy below to break the fall and it wasn't enough, finis. (111)

money bagsAntwan cares not for his users. He doesn't care for their characters. He's not concerned for his (“sheeple”) employees. All he cares about is the bottom line. He serves him­self first to the detriment of every­one else. (Eccl. 10:16) “Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!”

coffee timeKeys is of a different sort who would care for the digital world he rules. When asked what gets them going in the morning, various people reply, “Coffee” … “Coffee” … “Coffee.” What gets Keys going is “Code” although he might drink some joe to complete it. (Eccl. 10:17) “Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!”

Production Values

” (2021) was directed by Shawn Levy. Its screenplay was written by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn. It stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer and Taika Waititi. Reynolds was great and he carried the movie quite well. Comer, Waititi, and Joe Keery contributed their best teamwork. Lil Rel Howery as Buddy the Negro NPC with an untested firearm was precious.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for strong fantasy violence throughout, language and crude/suggestive references. Be sure to hold your nose. The special effects are amazing and they come on fast. The fights and chases are breath­taking. The humor is well integrated into the plot. Runtime is 1 hour 55 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This was a very workable action flick, although in my opinion the writers made it too edgy for plain enjoyment. They were too cute for the movie's good. They didn't have to give the Bunyanesque character a woody or make him inordinately affectionate with the male hero. And it fell flat when they tried to compare it to real world violence. We do see excessive gun violence on our TV screens but not rife in the city, out­side our doors. Unless we live in a border town or surrounded by gangs. It is what it is, over-the-top video game action with a semblance of a plot. Some people will like it.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed fun. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Gatherings of video game aficionados. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quotations from the Authorized King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, print.

Hall, Adam. Quiller. Copyright © 1985 by Adam Hall. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2004. Print.