Free Guy

image for Free Guy

Short takes

Not suitable under 14; parental guidance to 16 (violence, language, themes, sexual references)

Age
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Free Guy
  • a review of Free Guy completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 August 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not suitable due to violence, language, themes and sexual references.
Children aged 14–16 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, language, themes and sexual references.
Children over the age of 16 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Free Guy
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence and coarse language
Length: 115 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

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, work at the bank, go home – and repeat. Even though it is monotonous and predictable, Guy loves his life and, despite all the crazy violence, thinks Free City is a fabulous place to live. It never occurs to Guy that his life may not be real. He never imagines that he is really just a NPC (a ‘non-playable character’ who is 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 law suit against Antwan (Taika Waititi), the greedy owner of a gaming corporation, and 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 is well out of his league but gives him some friendly advice about how to level up, thinking he is just another player. Guy takes her 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 not only holds the key to getting the evidence to win her lawsuit but that he is the key, Antwan has worked out her secret persona and realises what she is up to. Antwan then pulls out all the stops in a last ditch effort to eliminate Guy, destroy Free City and eradicate all evidence of the game. It comes down to Guy who must fight for what is real, even if what is real only lasts for a moment.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Alternate realities; Desensitisation to animated violence; The expendability of artificial life forms; Corporate corruption; The world’s obsession with gaming.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is frequent violence in this movie, including:

  • Numerous car crashing scenes where cars are flipped over, shot at or blown up.
  • Characters are shot at with guns and a variety of 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.
  • Guy is hit and killed by a train.
  • 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 is a wide gaping hole and Guy leaves him 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 the guns of thieves, stops people from shooting rockets, throws a grenade and accidentally blows himself up.
  • 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 homosexual 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, before Guy blasts through the wall with a motorcycle and they race off again through the air with Molotov Girl still firing shots.
  • A programmer is told to reboot the game in an effort 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 cannot 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 him. 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 attempting to destroy Free City and everyone who lives there.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Children in this age group are likely to be scared or disturbed by the scenes mentioned below.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Some children may be concerned by the number of times that Guy gets killed and the ways in which it happens, such as being suddenly hit by a police car or by a speeding train or getting blown up by a grenade.
  • When Antwan is attempting to destroy the game and kill off all the characters, Guy and Buddy are running for their lives as their world is dissolving around them. Buddy doesn’t make it off the bridge and Guy must go on alone. The scene is intense as everyone is watching with baited breath to see if he makes it out alive. The scene may distress some young children.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • The Neutrogena skin cream brand is mentioned.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Guy mentions that drinking his coffee is, “like losing my virginity but in my mouth”.
  • A gamer tells his mom not to touch his special sock. He alludes to masturbation as he implores her not to touch it.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A female game character, known as ‘The Bombshell’, wears tight, skimpy clothing.
  • Molotov Girl and Guy share a couple of passionate kisses.
  • A character does a sexual dance almost rubbing his body against Guy’s.
  • Buddy touches and rubs another character's pectorals.
  • Mille and Keys kiss passionately.
  • A character is called a, “dirty, stripper cop”.
  • There are homosexual innuendos.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Buddy and Guy talk about having beers on the beach after work.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Fucking”
  • “Bullshit”
  • “Shit” and “Scheisse” (The German equivalent)
  • “God damn”
  • “Dick”
  • “Loser”
  • “Biatch”
  • “Asshole”
  • “Stupid”
  • A young girl says, “Waste that montherfu...”, but the end of the word is cut off.
  • Characters give the middle finger.

In a nutshell

Free Guy is a sci-fi, action comedy with a fast paced plot and an excellent cast. The film features lots of special effects and videogame-style technology but due to the mature content it is best suited to older teens and adult audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that kindness is far more powerful than violence; and that 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 this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Kindness
  • Integrity
  • Love
  • Compassion
  • Cooperation
  • Persistence.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Greed and what some people are willing to do to get what they want.
  • The corruption of companies and the lengths that they will go to keep power and silence those who get in their way.
  • The addictive nature of video games and the consequences this can have on the lives of those who play them.
  • The way that people just get used to or are desensitised to violence and the effect this has on humanity as a whole.
  • Believing that certain types of life have no value, whether they are artificial or lowly employees.