I saw the trailer for this film over a year ago. It showed such promise as a parody of video game culture. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as an NPC (non-playable character) that becomes self-aware. It’s one of the most original ideas I’ve seen in a while. Sadly, it turned out to be a convoluted mess with no real message. At one point, I found myself literally falling asleep from boredom.
Perhaps the run time had something to do with it. Films that are CG heavy tend to get visually overwhelming and this one had a ton of things going on. It captured the user-interface of a sandbox game with glowing objects, neon texts, and dreadful glitches. The first act of the film, the “real world” and the virtual one are clearly distinguished.
Over time the uncanny valley manifested in the most disturbing way possible. Characters became grotesque combinations of human and cartoon. The story suffered from being too self-referential. If you follow the game industry closely, you might catch some jabs at big developers. However, for those uninformed it can seem random and preachy. I spent twenty bucks and walked away disappointed. Free Guy gets a 5.5 out of 10.