Free Guy— When is Real Intelligence better than AI?

Free Guy— When is Real Intelligence better than AI? August 13, 2021

I confess to liking Ryan Reynolds as an actor. I also confess that I am not a gamer, in fact I really dislike the violence and gory of so many video games. But this movie is actually about the creating of a game where violence does not drive the action.  Rather, good, likable characters do.  One such character in the game is Guy.  Guy is not a main character in the Free City game, he’s what is called an NPC (non-player character), or was it MVP, or was it MCP?  Anyway, he’s an auxiliary character  who lives a pattern very boring routine life. He gets up in the morning says hello to his singular gold fish, has as his tag line ‘It’s not just going to be a good day, its going to be a great day’ and he where the same blue shirt and blue and gold tie every day, working in a bank, which seems to be robbed twice everyday. Talk about excessive withdrawals!  But somehow, Guy has been programmed to have a limited amount of capacity to develop, to be a character with AI. Could he even perhaps find true love with Molotov Girl? Could he finally break out of his mold and truly be a ‘free guy’? Inquiring minds want to know.

As one would expect the CG of this movie is amazing, like some of those games. The pace is sometimes frenetic in this one hour and 55 minute sprint to the finish line.  Is the movie hilarious? Well no, but it has some humor. I laughed when Guy all of sudden started fighting with Captain America’s shield, and then a light saber.  And for gamers, I am sure there were many more fun moments. What I did like about the film is that it had heart on two scores: 1) it affirmed that there such a thing as true love, and finding someone to love; 2) equally importantly, it affirmed that it’s a good thing to be a good person— kind, loyal, self-sacrificial etc.  In short, the movie had heart.  It was not just an homage to shoot ’em up bang bang games.  Visually the movie is very busy and stimulating…. perhaps too stimulating for older folks like me.  But all in all I enjoy this.  Turns out, Ryan Reynolds is not just an ordinary GUY.

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