Movies

A Movie Where the NPC is A Hero

Movie Review:

Free Guy (2021)

Rating: 7.8 out of 10 stars

Overview

Pros

  • Well-chosen actors
  • Comedic elements
  • Interesting concept
  • Great CGI
  • Disney takes advantage of its access to properties such as Marvel and Star Wars by including their characteristic items in the game Free City. Also has several great cameos.

Cons

  • Definitely see strong similarities to The Lego Movie
  • Some very convenient plot points

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Review and Reflection

In Free Guy, the protagonist Guy discovers he is a NPC in a video game. It’s a slow realization for him, which is prompted when he first sees the woman of his dreams and leaves his normal everyday routine to interact with her. Player avatars are indicated in this video game world by sunglasses. Guy decides he is going to be extraordinary like them and steals a pair of sunglasses, which allow him to see things like power-ups. When Molotov Girl, the woman of his dreams, informs him that he is an NPC, he is devastated, but eventually comes to terms with this reality. He helps other NPCs alter their programming and saves the video game world of Free City.

One of the things I like about this movie is that it puts the focus on NPCs, who get very little attention in most video games. Most NPCs do not even have developed character arcs in video games. It was a unique point of view to choose.

Me and my whole family got Lego Movie vibes from this movie, mostly because Guy is a man who lives every day exactly the same and loves it, even though it is futile. If you watch it, you’ll see what I mean. The first part is like a live action Lego Movie.

Guy tries to level up by being the good guy in a video game where robbery, destruction, and violence are the key ways to get ahead. It’s unheard of. It’s also funny, and inspires many of the gamers in the movie to think twice about their treatment of NPCs.

Personally, those games that focus on robbery, looting, excessive violence, and vandalism are not my style. I have always felt bad about my actions in video games that hurt NPCs, even when they are the bad guys. I guess I am just soft-hearted. I will say that this movie was a reminder to me that even supporting characters, the fictional equivalent of NPCs, can have interesting character arcs.

Antwan, the creator of Free City, has stolen the original code of the characters Keys and Millie (Molotov Girl) in order to make Free City. As the movie progresses, he tries harder and harder to hide that fact. His measures become more and more extreme. First he tries to destroy Guy. Later, he kicks everyone out of the game and reboots it, and finally he begins to destroy the servers.

Antwan is a colorful character and makes a convincing and formidable villain. The fact that Keys works for him adds to the tension.

I’m glad Millie and Guy didn’t end up as a couple at the end, even though they shared a kiss twice and got bubblegum ice cream together. It would have been extremely uncomfortable if they ended up a couple, considering that Guy is just a video game character. Instead, Guy reveals that he is like a love letter to Millie from Keys. I admit, that is one of the sweetest love letters I have ever witnessed.

There were some very convenient parts, such as that the evidence Millie needed to prove that Antwan stole their code was in a building guarded by a Guy fan. Also, when Antwan smashes servers, the one he goes for last is the one that covers the area Guy is in, so he is not destroyed. Super convenient.

The cameos by Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans were fun, as were the use of Captain America’s shield and the lightsaber as items in the game.

Overall, a great movie with many comedic elements. I recommend to anyone who enjoys a good comedy or video games.

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