Science-fiction comedy movie Free Guy released on Thursday in India. In this Shawn Levi directorial, Ryan Reynolds takes on the role of an NPC or non-player character in a fictional video-game called Shawn Levi’s science-fiction comedy movie Free City.
The movie, apart from being super-fun is also meaningful, and ponders complex topics like dangers of extreme capitalism, depiction of violence in pop culture, finding meaning in life, and so on.
Here are a few movies for you to watch if you are interested in Free Guys’ premise.
The Lego Movie
Written and directed by perhaps two of the most talented creatives working in Hollywood, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie made what should have been a corporate cash grab into one of the most meaningful movies of 2014. Similar to Free Guy, it had an ordinary, naive, and optimist protagonist called Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) who, as the chosen one, is destined for big things. He has to use something called Piece of Resistance to bring down Lord Business, an evil businessman. The premise might sound traditional, the execution is anything but.
Ready Player One
This Steven Spielberg film is based on a book of the same name by Ernest Cline. It is a dystopian story set in 2045 when people live in poverty in trailer homes stacked over each other in neighbourhood, that is aptly called stacks. The life is understandably hard for Wade Watts (portrayed by Tye Sheridan), a teenager who lives with his aunt in stacks.
His only solace is a virtual reality game called OASIS. In OASIS, the limits of reality are your own imagination. It is imagination working overtime. The shiny, fun-filled world of OASIS is a nostalgic delight. Like Free Guy, the film is a sharp commentary on corporate greed.
Rich Moore’s 2012 Disney animated movie explored the lives of video-game characters, who were all NPCS, since the arcade game called Fix-It Felix Jr is only single-player. When the lights go down, the villain of the game Wreck-It Ralph is spurned, while the hero Fix-It Felix Jr is, well, treated like a hero. Ralph wonders whether things could be different. Both entertaining and weighty, Wreck-It Ralph is a solid option for those looking to watch something similar to Free Guy.
The Truman Show
Unlike Free Guy’s Guy, The Truman Show’s hero Truman, is not a video-game character. The world he inhabits is not a video-game. However, since birth, he is kept in an artificially created Seahaven Island. He does not know he is part of an elaborate reality TV show, and believes this is his reality. Over the course of the movie, he realises the nature of his ‘world’ and faces the question as to whether he wants to be in a comfortable and safe but artificial world or face the uncertainty and dangers of the real world. The question is important.
Easily one of the most influential sci-fi and action movies of all times, a lot has already been written about the Matrix. While the movie that plays on the surface is extremely entertaining, what happens beneath the surface is what makes it exceptional. This movie, directed by the Wachowskis, gave the world the concept of blue pill and red pill, the eternal philosophical conundrum that the Truman Show also hinted at. Is ignorance really bliss? Is a synthetic but pleasant life inside a computer program or a similar artificial construct better than a harsh life in the unforgiving real world? Keep in mind that The Matrix is much darker than other entries in this list and is not a comedy.