A Friendly Wave At Nerd Culture – Free Guy Review

Synopsis: When a bank teller discovers he’s actually a background player in an open-world video game, he decides to become the hero of his own story — one that he can rewrite himself. In a world where there’s no limits, he’s determined to save the day his way before it’s too late, and maybe find a little romance with the coder who conceived him.

How new is the “Video Game Movie” well according to Screenrant.com Super Mario Bros was the first video game movie released in 1993. That movie started an iconic trend of flop movies in the new genre about video games.

Some movies were total flops, some were so bad they became good again like Street Fighter and Doom. Other movies like Sonic The Hedgehog tipped the scales a little with it’s installment. But the era of bad movies before lasted almost two decades and that is something that hangs in the back of my head when new video game themed movies come out. However, I kept an open mind in this film because I recognized that it wasn’t trying to make a perfect adaptation of a game franchise it sold itself as a new-ish idea in a fictional video game world.

My initial thoughts on this movie:

-Lots of references: Grand Theft Auto’s iconic open world feel lends itself to Free Guys environment in-game. Later on two video game developers confront free guy in the plot and go “God mode” and start building structure very similar to Fortnite gameplay. In addition to that, the game company depicted in the story is named Soonami which pays homage to Cartoon Networks curated hour of anime and other hit shows that gaming culture has accepted.

Free Guy’s plot is creative and friendly to the video game world. I like the story which relied heavily on a new trope for video game movies I call the “You Stole My Idea!” trope.

Plot- Free Guy’s plot is creative and friendly to the video game world. I liked the story which relied heavily on a new trope for video game movies – I call it the “You stole my idea!” trope which has been seen in the film Grandma’s boy. This film’s plot follows the unauthorized usage of two developers special code used in the popular game Free Life. Essentially the villain in this film is suspected of stealing the code and seems to have a chance to get away with it. Stacked on top of that story is a romantic comedy story between the A.I character Guy and a real world character “Millie” or known as Molotov Girl in the world of Free Life.

Real World Characters – Millie and Keys

The story is a fun ride I came into it with an open mind expecting a popcorn movie and that is exactly what I got. The ending jokes were really fun with the “Dude” character fight and the leaps of logic to create a climactic moment of Guy running from the game about to be deleted was interesting to say the least. That is the aspect that stands out in this film – it took the time to create real motivations between the developer character (played by Joe Keery) and the villain – Antione. Keery is interested in putting out a game that is really good and high quality and Antoine expectedly doesn’t care about anything except money. The dynamic is a common one but the dialogue about buggy games coming out on release day for full price hit the right notes for me as a gamer. Touches like that were felt throughout the film and cameos from real world gaming personalities such as Jack Septic Eye and Ninja brought a friendly tone to this movie. It wasn’t without flaws and confusing moments this movie was for a certain demographic of generally left leaning gamers and tech enthusiasts – It filled the liberals cup with buzz words like “white privilege, and Gender Roles” without much context. The movie does perpetuate gamer stereotypes such as Mom’s basement and “still living at home” tropes which are worth an audible sigh. Most gamers are 40+!

Overall this film lends extra insight and effort in it’s world building and borrows heavily from nerd culture but the tone never feels mockingly and I am glad to see a video game themed movie that doesn’t suck with references and world building to boot. I give this film a 7/10

Great world building, fun commentary and references, borrows common tropes, story has some plot holes.

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