What happens when a video game character escapes their creator’s algorithm? The action-comedy “Free Guy – Unprobable Hero,” which hits theaters this week (and week 19 in Portugal), explores the boundaries between the real and the virtual using game code.
The premise is reminiscent of “The Truman Show – Life Live” (1998), where Jim Carrey brilliantly played an ordinary insurance agent who unwittingly starred in a “reality show” without knowing what was happening.
Two decades later, the internet giants are dreaming of parallel worlds that mix the real and the virtual. And in “Free Guy,” the anti-hero, played by Ryan Reynolds, is one of the many supporting characters we can sometimes interact with in hyper-realistic video games like Grand Theft Auto.
Every morning the man wakes up, greets his goldfish, burns his mouth with excessively hot coffee, oblivious to the explosions and fights that are going on around him.
But when he finally takes his fate into his own hands, the mechanism developed by the game’s creators breaks down.
Watch the trailer.
Director Sean Levy likened the film to “an antidote to much of what we’ve been seeing” with the pandemic.
“The film is about hope and maintaining some innocence in the midst of a very cynical world,” he added at a recent presentation in New York.
Playfully enhanced in the Night at the Museum trilogy, where skeletons and stuffed animals appear at night, Levi plays with a gallery of familiar characters from hit games like Fortnite.
Set against the backdrop of a love story, the story also unfolds on the other side of the screen, in the open space of the video game editor, a modern and relaxing environment where all tricks are allowed.
In addition to Ryan Reynolds, the cast includes Joe Kerry, best known for Stranger Things, Jodie Comer, best known for her role in Killing Eve, and director and actress Taika Waititi as the profit-hungry boss.
Produced by Disney-owned 20th Century Studios, Free Guy is heavily promoted in the United States and Sean Levy says he is considering a sequel.
“Proud coffee junkie. Gamer. Hardcore introvert. Social media trailblazer.”