Movie Review: Free Guy

It always amuses me how rarely American actors are allowed to act. Ryan Reynolds stars as Ryan Reynolds - with the exact same delivery and intonation as all his other rôles. The same semi-improvised witty asides. The same fourth-wall breaking memes. Hey, look, it works for him and audiences seem to love it. I just think it'd be nifty to see him playing something other than Ryan Reynolds.

Anyway, Free Guy is a fun, uncomplicated movie about the perils of cross-licencing GPL code within a proprietary codebase.

If you're a gamer - or Extremely-Online™ - you'll probably get a lot out of the cameos and background action. If not, it's still a funny and silly movie. There are lots of humorous little touches in the set decoration and amusing throwaway lines. The plot is never really brave enough to commit to discuss the ethical questions it brings up, nor does it tackle the toxic environment that some gamers create.

It's a bit too tropey for my tastes (Friendly Black Sidekick, will-they won't-they friendships, and utterly failing the Bechdel test). But, hey, you can't have everything.

There are a couple of weird sequences where it's obvious that they couldn't quite get the IP rights for some video games - so some generic characters are used instead. But that's redeemed by the final fight which is pure fan-service.

In about 10 years this'll look as dated one of those 1960s movies exploring the Hippy subculture. But, for now, it is a delightfully daft way to spend an evening.

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