Free Guy: Movie posters parody numerous video game classics

Free Guy: Movie posters parody numerous video game classics

Free Guy

Free Guy had to be postponed several times - but on Thursday the release of the "GTA film" with Ryan Reynolds in the leading role in the cinemas is really imminent. After there was another trailer for the film last in June, all video game fans can now look forward to a special marketing campaign from 20th Century Studios. New Free Guy posters parody the covers of numerous classic games from recent years. The posters were shared on Twitter.

Recommended editorial content Here you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. Titles like Super Mario 64, DOOM, Grand Theft Auto, Street Fighter 2, Mega Man, Minecraft, Animal Crossing and Among Us were taken over from the characters from Free Guy. The film itself would most closely match the GTA poster. Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds slips into Free Guy in the role of a normal NPC in the open world game called Free City. But because one day Guy has had enough of his everyday life, he goes his own way and turns the life of the entire city upside down - as can also be seen in the current trailer.


Free Guy: Ryan Reynolds in the third trailer for the "GTA film" loadVideoPlayer ('83922', '& sAdSetCsategory = artikel_featured', 12, '16: 9 ', false, 1377499, false, 130800, 260, false, 0, '', '', false); Also read 0

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Beautifully dark recordings, a strong cast and a lot of fantasy potential: In our film review we clarify whether the trip to the cinema is worthwhile. var lstExcludedArticleTicker = '1377499,1377033,1376470,1376746'; Free Guy also casts Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Taika Waititi. Shawn Levy, who has been responsible for nights at the museum in the past, is the director. In addition to the poster parody, Ryan Reynolds also promoted the film as Deadpool. He was accompanied by Taika Waititi, who disguised as Korg comments on the trailer. Disney rejected a curious idea in which Deadpool befriends the killer of Bambi's mother. Free Guy starts in German cinemas on August 12, 2021.

‘Free Guy’ could have been both smart and fun — but this summer flick has an identity crisis

a person walking down a busy city street: Ryan Reynolds in “Free Guy.” © 20th Century Studios Ryan Reynolds in “Free Guy.”

Rating:  (2 stars)

In theory, “Free Guy” should work. The new action-adventure flick stars Ryan Reynolds as a naive, generic Everyman — he’s literally named Guy — who blithely pays no mind to the daily ritual of armed robbery and gun violence that plague his hometown of Free City.

That’s because Guy is nothing more than ones and zeros: a background character in a sprawling, havoc-filled video game along the lines of “Grand Theft Auto.” Predictably, Guy comes to realize that he’s something more than that, aided by a dash of artificial intelligence and an inkling of love and affection for a woman (Jodie Comer, charming as ever as both a real-world player named Millie and her digital avatar, Molotov Girl).

For Guy, life is worth living. So far, so great.

It’s the sort of almost-profound idea that co-writers Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn might have dreamed up while playing hours and hours of video games, and imagining the fully fleshed lives of the pixels that populate their screen.

Playing against this charming, lively idea is another, darker one: There’s a virus coursing through the system of “Free Guy.”

At its core, the movie wants to deliver a message against the monoculture pervading society. Find fulfillment on your own terms, it seems to say. But what could have been an inspiring romp about discovering what makes each of us unique is merely a movie that gets in its own way, gorging on pop culture references.

Call it “Ready Player One” syndrome. (Penn co-wrote the script for that 2018 film as well.) “Free Guy” ultimately boxes itself in with cheap homages to so-called nerd culture that may elicit hoots from audiences starved for real theatrical experience. But the soul and energy of the movie — or at least this part of it — is as empty as the calories in your tub of popcorn.

[‘Ready Player One’ feels like mainlining the VH1 show ‘I Love the ’80s.’] Ryan Reynolds, Lil Rel Howery are posing for a picture: Ryan Reynolds, left, and Lil Rel Howery in “Free Guy.” © Alan Markfield/20th Century Studios Ryan Reynolds, left, and Lil Rel Howery in “Free Guy.”

The film’s climax includes several smack-you-over-the-head references to films from Marvel and Disney (the parent company of “Free Guy’s” production studio). While this might please fans of those cinematic universes, some others will probably be baffled as to how a story about the quest for singularity can be reconciled with such naked promotion of some the most generic blockbusters of all time.

The film is littered with cinematic references, including to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Akira,” and “Portal.” Some day, a website may catalogue them all, but I gave up counting so as not to lose focus.

That may be a cynical reading of what might have been a mindless summer breeze of a movie, but “Free Guy” teeters tantalizingly close to something like actual sentience, seeming to attack some of the hot-button issues plaguing the people who create these cultural properties. Would it kill anyone to have a little more self-awareness?

Taika Waititi plays an over-the-top executive for the company that makes the game “Free City,” and he’s pushing something called a crunch on his programmers to finish the sequel (a real-life problem in which workers are forced to put in overtime to meet a game’s release deadline). Waititi’s tyrannical boss is suspected of engaging in intellectual property theft of another game world — one created by Millie and her coding partner (Joe Keery) — in which players simply exist in a utopia. Casting Waititi, the director of “Thor: Ragnarok,” in the role of a villainous corporate overlord is an extra meta touch.

a man using a laptop computer: Jodie Comer, left, and Joe Keery in “Free Guy.” © Alan Markfield/20th Century Studios Jodie Comer, left, and Joe Keery in “Free Guy.”

But to engage the movie on its own terms, “Free Guy” never quite reaches its final level.

The supporting cast is quite likable: Comer flips capably from action hero to principled code monkey, and the increasingly omnipresent Lil Rel Howery is delightful as ever as Guy’s best friend, appropriately named Buddy. Reynolds’s signature shtick — wry smirking — works fine enough in the role of a seeming dolt who comes to realize he’s more than that.

There are tons of cameos, by famous online gamers and uncredited Hollywood stars. One star in particular — who shall remain nameless in deference to a pre-screening plea from Reynolds to avoid casting spoilers — makes such a charming, charismatic presence that you might find yourself wishing for more of him, and less of Reynolds.

It’s all the more of a letdown, considering that director Shawn Levy — whose résumé includes the generic Night at the Museum series and the homage to the early 1980s “Stranger Things” — pulls off a fairly compelling visual world, one that toggles between the drab cityscape and the glitzy video game interface when Guy puts on a pair of glasses that players’ avatars wear.

It’s hard not to imagine that there could have a better version of this movie’s premise: one that upped the cultural satire, while still having fun tossing low-key, cheeky references at the audience. In the end though, disappointingly, “Free Guy” only plays itself.

PG-13. At area theaters. Contains strong fantasy violence throughout, strong language and crude/suggestive references. 115 minutes.