“Free Guy” may have been one of the biggest surprise films this summer, but it wasn’t just because of the action-comedy’s originality. It was how well it did with critics and audiences during a pandemic. But because of broadcasting and streaming rights, Disney could not release it on their Premier Access on Disney+. That being said, it finally arrives on home entertainment release.
The film, directed by Shawn Levy, sees Guy (Ryan Reynolds) as a non-playable character living within a open-world video game. Unlike the human players who are free to roam and do as they please within the confines of the Free City game, Guy has to stick to his programming and script. And yet, there is something very peculiar about him because he is growing sentitent. This comes to form when he comes across Millie, (Julie Cormer), a player who is in search of a lost code that was taken by the game’s creator, Antoine (Taika Waititi).
While corporate espionage provides a more grounded plotline for our human characters to grow and develop, the world of Free City is an opportunity for the NPCs to break free from their programming and as such give them an enjoyable arc. And sure enough, Guy not only decides his own destiny, but he also proves that he is in control.
Of course, given that video game movies have such a bad reputation, it was a good idea for “Free Guy” to do something completely original by creating its own game. Therefore, it can write the rules of how everything functions and write its own mythology. Sure, there may be some inspirations pulled from the more successful games like “Grand Theft Auto,” “Fortnite,” and a couple of other cameos, but for the most part, it is fun to see just how expansive this world is.
As for the bonus features, they are all pretty standard stuff. You get the usual gag reels and deleted scenes. But there’s also a few new things like Dude vs. Guy, a feature that sees Ryan Reynolds, director Shawn Levy and the creative and stunt teams reveal the innovative process of creating “Free Guy”’s ultimate showdown between Guy and the wildly amped-up, spray-tanned, frosted-tipped version of himself known as Dude.
And then there’s “Creating Molotovgirl,” which takes a look at Jodie Comer’s transformation from a brilliant programmer to her fierce avatar in “Free Guy.” Watch as the award-winning action star and filmmakers deconstruct the conceptualization, evolution and execution of bringing Molotovgirl to life.
Finally, there’s “It’s Taika’s World.” In this bonus feature, we see just how Taika Waititi’s comedy energy gave life to over-the-top Antwan.
The Blu-ray colors and textures really pop out, which is needed when working in a computer-generated world like Free City. Everything about the video quality is on a heightened level, which gives a more dynamic range of colors to see. And things are more clear as well.
As for the audio quality, the Dolby Atmos provides a more immersive experience to make it feel as though you are right in the world of Free City. And that couldn’t be more felt in the film’s opening scene which sees a player jumping out from a play, right into a car, stealing all sorts of items, and leaving nothing but chaos and destruction in his wake. It may be over-the-top, but it works in the sense that it is believable because only that kind of action can exist in a world like “Free City.”
Though “Free Guy’s” bonus features doesn’t quite pack the kind of punch that the film does, it is still enough to satisfy those who want to learn more about how the film was put together. As for the actual film itself, it really shines a light on a cleaner version of Ryan Reynold’s charms. But the film also lets its supporting cast have fun. Cormer looks like she has the time of her life playing a tough gaming developer looking for a sense of justice for what was taken for her, and Waititi’s Antoine was not only comedic but a wacky commentator on the world obsessed with franchises and sequels who don’t take too kindly to anything that’s original.
“Free Guy” is available to purchase on home entertainment and digital wherever sold.