Top 10 Immersive Tech From The Smash Hit Free Guy

by Guy Frum

Top 10 Immersive Tech Delights from Ryan Reynolds’ Smash Hit Free Guy

Originally scheduled for release in the summer of 2020, (any guesses why it was delayed?) Ryan Reynolds’ gamer action-comedy movie “Free Guy” at last saw the light of day in movie theaters around the world beginning in early August.

Its release was delayed 13 months by the COVID-19 pandemic, and even though the delta variant is now wreaking havoc in parts of the world, enough people are vaccinated and ready to get back to life as we know it that the film has found its way into theaters and in its first week racked up $45 million in the US and $67 million worldwide. 

The movie tells the story of a non-player character (NPC) who becomes self-aware in his ultra-violent, Second Life-esque reality world.
When he doubles down on his revelations and realizes that the game’s heroes are all visitors from another world while his life is locked inside the game, he’s off on a madcap rescue mission to save his world and the livelihood of his new human gal pal.

“Free Guy” is a ton of fun, particularly at a time when going to the movies for most people has gone from being a standard summer activity to “I can barely remember what overpriced popcorn smells like”.
If you’re a big fan of gaming, virtual/augmented reality, and all things immersive, this is a must-see movie for you.
For this week’s “Tops” blog, here’s a list of our favorite Immersive Tech Delights from “Free Guy.” 

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

1. The Augmented Reality Sunglasses: 

For the movie’s NPCs, the only thing they know about those sunglasses all the players are wearing is that it designates them as heroes. So when Reynolds’ NPC banker Guy puts a pair on for the first time, he’s overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of icons, inventory, special perks, and tactical information swarming his screen.

Just like the first time any of us tried on a pair of VR goggles, it’s more than a little disconcerting for Guy, as he continually flips them on and off to try and make sense of it all, reveling in excitement when he swiped money off a dead player and uses it to buy his dream pair of tennis shoes.

2. The Noob bumbling around in the background: 

When Guy checks his balance at the ATM machine hoping to be richer, you spot an obvious new player in the background trying to enter a jewelry store but continually crashing into the wall and jumping up and down. Easy to laugh at, but you know we’ve all been there too.

3. The Channing Tatum Reveal: 

The movie starts with a Free City hero, played by Channing Tatum, skydiving into a convertible in the city complete with a hot NPC babe, then proceeding on an elaborate car chase that ends with a bazooka shot. The real reveal comes when we see the player behind the player - a 22-year old living at home and getting more and more furious when his mother (voiced by Tina Fey) insists on vacuuming the carpet while he tries to live stream his game play.

4. The Unfinished “Dude”:  

When the game’s villain releases an upgraded version of Guy called “Dude” to keep the hero from achieving his mission at game’s end, it’s an untested construct with considerable glitches and oversights including his catchphrase of “Catch Phrase!” and his inability to speak in complete sentences. A tribute to games that have been rushed to release everywhere.

5. The Respawn Sites: 

There’s nothing that takes you out of an immersive experience faster than watching more enemies appear to battle you from the exact same spot on the ground as their predecessors. Guy faces this inside a secret warehouse. One minute he’s alone, the next minute more uglies are after him.

6. The Gamer Language: 

When those competitive juices get flowing inside an immersive experience, we all have been known to get a little fiery with the language. When Guy is becoming self-aware of himself and his power, he disarms a powerful player - revealed to be a 10-year-old girl - while her young sister yells, “Ice his ass!” and “Blow this mother*****” away!”

7. The On-the-Nose Comparison: 

When Guy is rallying his fellow NPCs to the cause, he asks real-life friend MIllie to tell them how nice and normal the real world is. She reveals that there are far fewer bank robberies and random corpses in the streets on Earth, but can’t quite back up his claim of gun violence not being a problem.

8. The Ridiculous Inventories: 

Millie, Guy, and pretty much every other player in Free City has unlimited room for weapons, ammo, coins, and magical items without even carrying a backpack or a briefcase. In his final fight, Reynolds digs deep into the vault of Disney ,which released the movie, to unleash Captain America’s shield, the Hulk’s hands, and a Jedi lightsaber to turn the tide.

9. That Disconnected Feeling:

More than a few times players get disconnected from Free City, and suddenly realize they’re screaming, sweating, kicking, or battling in their own living rooms, kitchens, and occasionally, cubicles. If you’ve ever put on a haptic suit, goggles, or played an AR game through your phone or tablet, you know that exact feeling of disorientation and embarrassment when you lose your signal for a minute or two.

10. The Rainbow Smash Pickaxe:

When the lightsaber can’t quite finish Dude off, Guy reaches into his magic bag of inventory tricks one final time and unleashes this iconic Fortnite weapon to TKO his new enemy, and frightful look-alike. In Fornite it can do almost anything, from causing damage to opening chests to changing day to night. For Dude, it results in a very store and broken jaw.

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