After multiple delays, Free Guy is finally about to hit theaters. The Ryan Reynolds high-concept action-comedy has generated a lot of good-natured buzz online thanks to its brilliant marketing, although it still hasn’t been talked about on the same level as much-anticipated summer blockbusters like Black Widow and F9. But with just three weeks to go until it arrives, the first reactions to the film are in and they tease that it could end up being the biggest surprise of the season.
Like a blend of The Matrix and The LEGO Movie, Free Guy follows Reynolds as Guy, a cheery bank teller who discovers that he’s an NPC in an open-world video game when he encounters Milly (Jodie Comer), one of its programmers who has inserted herself into the game in a bid to stop douchey publisher Antoine (Taika Waititi) from shutting it down. Joe Keery and Lil Rey Howery also feature, with Stranger Things‘ Shawn Levy in the director’s chair.
Everyone was hoping it would turn out to be a good watch, but now it’s looking like it could be a great one. These early reactions are overwhelmingly positive, with praise particularly being given for its sense of humor, video game feel and lead performances.
“[Free Guy] is the biggest surprise of the summer!” writes Mike M. of The Nerds of Color. “Funny, charming, and downright likable. Really enjoyed it! It’s Tron meets Truman Show, with great performances from @VancityReynolds, #JodieComer and @joe_keery! Don’t just have a good day! Have a great day!”
Collider’s Steve Weintraub thinks Free Guy “might be the best video game movie ever made. It actually makes you believe you are in a video game. Big thumbs up. Looking forward to seeing it again.”
Nikki Novak of Fandango says Free Guy “is a joy & will be a hit. A video game movie that actually makes you feel like you’re in a VG. RR is the movie equiv of Ted Lasso (glass half full, full of fab one liners & so darn likable). Jodi Comer is a movie star (ahem Marvel). CLEVER & ORIGINAL! SURPRISES GALORE!”
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“[Free Guy] is everything I’d hoped for, and then some,” shared CinemaBlend’s Mike Reyes. “@ShawnLevyDirect & @VancityReynolds have created a universe that’s bitingly satirical & heartwarmingly hilarious. I loved this movie & cannot wait to see it again, bc there are moments that will absolutely KILL w/ an audience.”
“[Free Guy] is such a blast,” believes Chris Hayner of GameSpot. “I laughed throughout, the action was so over-the-top, there’s so many little Easter egg nods to gamer behaviors, and the cast rules. I’m looking forward to watching this one again with a big crowd.”
Clearly, Free Guy is the kind of movie that works best when experienced with a theater full of other people on the big screen. However, if you are looking to catch it from the comfort of your own home, then you don’t have long to wait before that becomes an option. Disney is rolling out a unique strategy with this 20th Century Studios production. After 45 days exclusively showing in cinemas, it will eventually become available to stream on Disney Plus.
Only three more weeks to go until Free Guy hits theaters, arriving in the US on August 13th.