Radar | Jun 19,2021
For the first decade and a half of his career, Ryan Reynolds was an actor who could not figure out who he wanted to be. He dabbled in action movies (Smokin’ Aces, Safe House), superhero flicks (Green Lantern, Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), suspense (Buried) and way too many forgettable romantic comedies (Definitely, Maybe, The Proposal). Before long, especially after Green Lantern, it seemed like he would be one of those actors touted to be the next superstar but ultimately fizzles out (the Taylor Kitsch curse).
Then, in 2016, came Deadpool. For a superhero movie, it was groundbreaking enough in its self-awareness. No less impressive was its R-rating, which inspired big studios to dare to green light the likes of Logan and Joker. Reynolds was not just the best actor to play Deadpool; it apparently could not have happened had it not been for his efforts in getting it made for over a decade. Had it not been for Reynolds, the flippant superhero would have remained a footnote in the X-Men cinematic franchise.
Along this journey, Reynolds seems to have come into himself. He is less interesting when playing mere comedic characters, such as his role in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Instead, he makes more sense playing characters having an uneasy relationship with the world they find themselves in, as in Free Guy.
Unlike Deadpool, who is aware of the fictional universe he occupies, Guy (Reynolds), the protagonist of Free Guy, is entirely clueless about his world. He is a non-playable video game character in the game Free City, which is also a fictional city where much of the action takes place. It is a great deal like Grand Theft Auto (where much of action takes place in Liberty City), which is known as an “open world” game. The virtual world can be explored without the burden of constantly following a mission, meaning that a lot of interaction takes place with non-playable characters. These are like extras in the movie or anyone in real life that we never get to know or meet, thus a periphery.
Guy – better known as “Blue Shirt Guy” – does not have a real name because he is a disposable part of a violent game. Working as a bank teller, he wakes up each day to do the same tasks repeatedly, without asking any questions. But unbeknownst to its video game publishers, the character actually has a code written by the game's original creators that allows him to develop self-awareness, becoming the world’s first artificial intelligence.
Worse still, he starts to be kind to others – a scandalous act in a violent video game. He even brings awareness to the suffering of non-player games, all of whom eventually start to become “intelligent.” The publishers believe that this will hurt sales (among other reasons) and attempt to delete the whole game. Guy has to team up with his original creators to save his world, himself and his non-player friends.
For what sounds like a quirky plotline, the writers put a great deal of thought into how the game works, why the non-player characters eventually become self-aware and the politics of gun violence in video games. The theme is even more impressive.
There is a bit of The Truman Show and The Matrix to Free Guy but given a decidedly comedic turn. Both of the latter are about combating the reality of one’s existence – rebelling against it. They also have a Jesus-like character, a focus of the universe. The Matrix and the Truman Show are about telling us that we are trapped in a system that determines our fate and that we need to break free to self-actualise. Free Guy says that even if we are not Neo, Harry Potter or a Skywalker, from our perspective, we are somebody. We could be trapped in a system, but we could also appreciate the little things, take the good with the bad, and work to improve it in increments.
If these are the types of projects Reynolds has for us going forward, then the future is indeed exciting.
PUBLISHED ON Sep 26,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1117]
Radar | Jun 19,2021
Sponsored Contents | May 20,2021
View From Arada | Feb 01,2020
Radar | Jul 11,2021
Radar | Jul 03,2021
Radar | Jul 31,2021
Radar | Jun 05,2021
Fortune News | Jul 18,2021
Radar | Sep 10,2021
Fortune News | 41495 Views | Jul 18,2020
Fortune News | 35341 Views | Sep 01,2021
Photo Gallery | 27568 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 25900 Views | Mar 17,2019
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
October 9 , 2021
Public offices have been having a field day in the past few years. From the Prime Min...
October 2 , 2021
Ethiopia`s Parliament will pick up a Prime Minister on Monday, October 4, 2021. The i...
September 26 , 2021
There are two editions of The Economist on Africa influenced by the narrative on the...
September 18 , 2021
It could be customary to wish well for the holiday seasons. If only the New Year cele...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
Ethiopia is experiencing a nationwide social crisis unlike any other the young genera...
We have all heard it said, “looks can be deceiving,” which is often used to refer to something that seems good on the outside but does n...
October 9 , 2021
From Arat Kilo to Mesqel Square, October 4, 2021, was a busy day. At the former, Parliament opened its first business of the next five years...
October 9 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
The state monopoly over the logistics sector will end soon, with federal authorities allowing up to five...
Federal authorities gear up to amend compensation and premium rates for third-party motor insurance polic...
October 9 , 2021 . By BERSABEH GEBRE
The state-owned Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) is one step closer to acqu...
Or see contact page