Every day, Guy (Ryan Reynolds) wakes up and follows the same routine: get coffee, meet his best friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery), walk to work at the bank, work, go home. Although it’s monotonous and predictable, Guy loves his life. His home, Free City, is full of crazy violence, but Guy thinks it’s a fabulous place to live. It never occurs to Guy that his life might not be real. He never imagines that he’s really just an NPC – a ‘non-playable character’ who’s made of code and written into a video game.
Guy’s life changes when he sees Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) for the first time. Molotov Girl is a player whose real-life persona, Millie (Jodie Comer), is searching for a way to win a lawsuit against Antwan (Taika Waititi), the greedy owner of a gaming corporation. She wants to prove that the code she and her partner, Keys, created was stolen and used as the basis for the game Free City. Desperate to talk to Molotov Girl, Guy breaks protocol and follows her. She’s well out of his league but gives him some friendly advice about how to level up, thinking he’s just another player.
Guy takes Molotov Girl’s advice and becomes not only a good guy but a great guy, helping everyone he sees and levelling up more quickly than anyone thought possible. Guy becomes a worldwide phenomenon, making the news in the real world, as everyone wonders who this incredibly talented player could be.
By the time Millie realises that Guy is the key to winning her lawsuit, Antwan has worked out her secret persona and realises what she’s up to. Antwan tries everything to eliminate Guy, destroy Free City and eradicate all evidence of the game. It comes down to Guy to fight for what’s real, even if what’s real lasts only for a moment.
Alternate realities; desensitisation to animated violence; disposable artificial life forms; corporate corruption; gaming obsession
Free Guy has frequent violence. For example:
- There are numerous car crash scenes where cars are flipped over, shot at or blown up.
- Characters are shot at with guns and many larger weapons.
- A man is repeatedly blasted out of a window during a robbery. He falls to the ground, covered in shattered glass.
- Molotov Girl threatens a man with a gun and then shoots him for asking her a question.
- A train hits and kills Guy.
- A man shoots up a bank during a robbery and threatens staff and customers.
- A character bashes Guy in the face and breaks his nose.
- Guy accidentally shoots someone in the chest. There’s a gaping hole, and Guy leaves the person to ‘rest in pieces’.
- Two police officers shoot at Guy, chasing him through the city and on to an abandoned building site, where Guy tries desperately to get away. He leaps off the building and lands safely, only to be hit and killed by the police car.
- Pedestrians are randomly punched in the face.
- Guy steals guns, stops people from shooting rockets, throws a grenade and accidentally blows himself up.
- When Guy fights the bad characters, a man is shot in the chest and a woman is thrown over a car.
- Guy tells Molotov Girl a joke about a gay person and a man in a wheelchair who are trying to murder a child.
- There are fight scenes as Molotov Girl tries to steal a computer file. Characters are punched, kicked, flipped, stabbed in the neck and shot at. Guy blasts through the wall with a motorcycle, and they race off through the air with Molotov Girl still firing shots.
- A programmer is told to reboot the game to erase Guy’s memory.
- Guy is hit by two cars and lies in the middle of the road.
- Antwan says to kill Molotov Girl and turn off ‘respawn’ so that any character that dies can’t come back again.
- Molotov Girl and Guy try to escape the crumbling city in a car as Antwan gets his programmers to do everything possible to stop them. Buildings nearly crush them as half of Free City disappears behind them.
- A character punches Guy in the face and kicks him through the air.
- Buddy is thrown into a metal can as he tries to help Guy defend himself. Guy tries to chop the character with a light sabre before nearly getting his ribs crushed.
- Antwan attacks the server room with an axe as he tries to destroy Free City and everyone who lives there.
Free Guy has some sexual references. For example:
- Guy says that drinking his coffee is ‘like losing my virginity but in my mouth’.
- A gamer tells his mother not to touch his special sock and implies that he uses it for masturbation.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Free Guy shows some use of substances in this movie, including when Buddy and Guy talk about having beers on the beach after work.
Nudity and sexual activity
Free Guy has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- A female game character is known as ‘The Bombshell’. She wears tight, revealing clothing.
- Molotov Girl and Guy share a couple of passionate kisses.
- A character does a sexual dance and almost rubs his body against Guy’s.
- Buddy touches and rubs another character’s chest muscles.
- Millie and Keys kiss passionately.
- A character is called a ‘dirty, stripper cop’.
- There are homosexual innuendos.
The following products are displayed or used in Free Guy: the Neutrogena skin cream brand.
Free Guy has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Free Guy is a science fiction action comedy with a fast-paced plot and an excellent cast. The movie features a lot of special effects and video game-style technology.
Because of its mature content, Free Guy is best suited to older teenagers and adult audiences.
These are the main messages from Free Guy:
- Kindness is far more powerful than violence.
- Life doesn’t have to be something that just happens to us – we can decide what we want to be, how we want to be and who we want to be.
Values in Free Guy that you could reinforce with your children include kindness, integrity, love, compassion, cooperation and persistence.
Free Guy could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- greed and what some people are willing to do to get what they want
- commercial corruptions and what companies do to keep power and silence people who get in their way
- video game addiction and how it affects the lives of video game players
- desensitisation to violence and how this affects everyone
- beliefs about the value of life and how this affects people and things that seem to have less value.