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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Overall theme is about "finding something more" to life, which is left pretty vague, but supporting characters take idea of free will to heart, choosing to live outside of prescribed roles. Strong running themes of kindness and nonviolence, as seen in preference of peaceful video game over violent one, in valuing good deeds over acts of violence.
Positive Role Models
Guy pursues and achieves a dream. His decision to do good deeds in a game that celebrates violence is inspirational (he becomes an internet-famous hero). Molotov Girl is shown to be tough and independent. Antwan is viewed negatively for his thievery and love of profits above all else.
Diverse group of actors, but the two main characters are White. Guy's Black best friend, Buddy, primarily functions to support Guy, rather than having his own motivations/story. Joke about White character being "full of White privilege." Supporting characters embrace idea of being able to live outside of game-defined roles: A "blonde bombshell" NPC, who was only in the game to be "arm candy" for male players, chooses not to have a boyfriend, and a barista decides to serve tea.
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Violence & Scariness
Large-scale, over-the-top video game-style violence: guns and shooting, explosions, car chases/crashes, fighting, characters on fire, etc. Characters are "killed" in the game. Main character's nose gets broken; small amount of blood shown. Characters take lots of falls, battering, crashes, etc. Character smashes computer servers with an ax.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Female NPC character is referred to as a "bombshell"; she wears a tight dress and says "you're so hot" to male players. Female character in tight leather pants. Character touches a bodybuilder's pectorals. Sexual innuendo and sex-related dialogue. Reference to losing virginity.
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One use of "f--king." Sporadic uses of "s--t," "Scheisse" (German for "s--t"), "a--hole," "goddamn," "ass," "hell," "balls," "biatch," "screw it," "d--k," "idiot." A young girl says "waste that motherf----r," but there's a cut just at the "f" sound. Middle-finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Neutrogena brand mentioned. References to other Disney-owned franchises.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Free Guy is a sci-fi/action comedy about Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a non-player character (NPC) in a video game, who finds a higher purpose. It's a tad formulaic and not very edgy (it copies ideas from many other movies), but it's quite likable and cheerful, with positive vibes and plenty of giggles. It's recommended for ages 13 and up. It contains giant-sized video game-type violence, with guns and shooting, explosions, car chases and crashes, fighting, and falling. The main character has a broken nose with some blood shown. Male and female characters kiss, a blonde "bombshell" NPC is shown off for her sex appeal (she's designed to be "arm candy"), and there's some sexual innuendo and sex-related dialogue. Language includes a use of "f--k," a near use of "motherf----r" (a well-placed cut saves the day), and some uses of "s--t," "ass," "goddamn," etc. There are some jokey references to other Disney-owned brands. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A tad formulaic and not quite as edgy as it might have been, Shawn Levy's video game comedy still gets by on an unwavering cheerfulness, unvarnished likability, and a steady stream of solid giggles. Reynolds is the real selling point of Free Guy. He avoids a repeat of his snarky, look-at-me Deadpool humor and nails a new kind of sweet naivete that's not unlike that of Will Ferrell in Elf or Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. Comer is also quite wonderful: Molotov Girl/Millie is a fully fleshed-out female co-lead rather than simply a romantic sidekick. They make a fantastic pair.
The movie's visual effects and production design effectively capture the specific feel of a Grand Theft Auto-like video game (albeit PG-13 rated), which is something most movies have so far failed to achieve. But bits and pieces do feel borrowed from many, many other movies. And Levy's careful, streamlined flow prevents Free Guy from ever becoming hugely outrageous, zany, or gut-bustingly funny. Perhaps all that wasn't necessary, however, to maintain the movie's sweetness. And -- similar to Ted Lasso's -- the movie's overall messages of kindness, nonviolence, and free choice are always refreshing.
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