Early Twitter reactions say Free Guy is another hit for Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds’s Free Guy is already being touted as another hit for the star, with responses on social media praising the movie as the best video game film ever!

Early reactions from film critics who have seen Ryan Reynolds’s video game inspired movie Free Guy are largely in praise of the film.

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) goes from NPC bank teller to hero in Free Guy. Images: 20th Century Studios/Disney

Although a video game film will usually have mixed reactions from critics at best, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive for Free Guy, with some calling the film the best summer movie for 2021. Critics have shared their thoughts about the film on Twitter, and even Reynolds himself is surprised at the avalanche of positive feedback. Check out the details of these early Free Guy reactions below.

The Tale of the Free Guy

Free Guy tells the story of a non-player character (aka NPC) in what appears to be a massively multiplayer online game (MMO). As with actual video game mechanics, NPCs serve as the set dressing population for the environment. Most can be interacted with, while others just wander around.

Some NPCs are actually useful, such as shopkeepers, bankers, quest givers, or sources of information. Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a banker NPC, but one that appears to have a level of sentience, enough that he longs for more than his usual routines and tasks. Then, due to unforeseen circumstances, he gets his wish and becomes an anomaly in the game.

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) discovers the truth: the world he lives in is a massively multiplayer video game.

Along the way, he meets Milly (Jodie Comer) who shows Guy his actual existence as an NPC in the video game. But the game is in danger of being shut down. Guy decides to become a hero and try to save the game, along with the other NPCs who would be wiped out if he fails.

Free Guy production

Free Guy started its production under 20th Century Fox. However, the production was postponed after the Disney and Fox merger was initiated and eventually came to fruition. Once the merger was completed, Free Guy continued its production (in fact, it's one of the first few big projects that continued life after the Disney acquisition) under the newly established 20th Century Studios.

Early reactions to Free Guy praise the chemistry and performance of Reynolds and Jodie Comer (Milly).

Further complications arose after the global COVID-19 pandemic started. Then, after the production wrapped up, it was initially scheduled for a July 3, 2020 theatrical release. The health crisis pushed it back to December 11, 2020. However, as the pandemic continued to prevent mass gatherings such as movie theater screenings, Disney decided to push the release to the following year 2021. But the new tentative release date was again altered by Disney to later in the year.

Reynolds even shared a funny tweet to confirm the new release date and assure fans this will be the final time that it would be pushed back:

Of course, the clip would not be complete if Reynolds did not leave a zinger at the end, that there might still be a delay if something comes up.

Twitter reactions

Although full reviews are still embargoed, reviewers who have had the opportunity to watch Free Guy have been enthusiastically sharing their general feedback on social media.

Jamie Jirak of ComicBook.com praised Reynolds and Comer’s performance and on-screen chemistry, saying "gamers will certainly appreciate it the most".

Scott Menzel calls the film "the most fun I’ve had watching a movie all year. Wildly entertaining & hilarious from beginning to end", calling it a cross between The Truman Show and Ready Player ONE.

Jazz Tangcay of Variety states "Taika Waititi is the best bad guy ever!" She also praised the partnership of Reynolds and Comer as the leads of the film.

Joel Meares, editor-in-chief of Rotten Tomatoes, says Free Guy is "one of the freshest-feeling, genuinely funny, and surprisingly moving big-budget adventure movies in years." Like other critics, he praises the performances of Reynolds and Comer, but also that of Joe Keery (Stranger Things).

As expected, Ryan Reynolds himself joins in on the fun, sharing his response to Steven Weintraub of Collider’s reaction to Free Guy:

PG-13 pleasantries

Ryan Reynolds has not had a lot of success in films that have less than an R-rating. The one exception would be Detective Pikachu, but that was only voice work and the film’s success was virtually guaranteed due to the popularity of the Pokémon franchise. By comparison, his films such as Green Lantern and RIPD were critical and commercial failures.

If the early reactions to Free Guy are an indication, this will be Reynolds's biggest rated PG-13 hit.

On the other hand, Reynolds has had much success with such films as Deadpool and earlier works like Van Wilder, which were in the R-rated category. Free Guy might just be the biggest PG-13 performance of a Ryan Reynolds film if the early reactions are any indication. Marvel Studios and Disney will likely be very happy with that news as Deadpool eventually becomes fully integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In Twentieth Century Studio’s epic adventure-comedy "Free Guy," a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way…before it is too late.

Free Guy stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Joe Keery, Channing Tatum, Lil Rel Howery, and Utkarsh Ambudkar. Free Guy is directed by Shawn Levy with a U.S. theatrical release date of August 31, 2021.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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