Go to contents

Low-profile character surprisingly turns into unusual hero

Low-profile character surprisingly turns into unusual hero

Posted August. 11, 2021 07:32,   

Updated August. 11, 2021 07:32


Hollywood sci-fi film “Free Guy,” scheduled to be released on Wednesday, depicts a male protagonist named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) or a non-player character or NPC living in the backdrop to a video game titled “Free City.” With everything set up as a default on the video game, he repeats the dull grind of everyday life. Wearing a sky blue-colored shirt, he crunches a bowl of cereal for breakfast and goes to a bank where he works with a cup of coffee in his hand every morning. However, he is not aware of the fact that he is an NPC. One day, he bumps into Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) on the street, who warns him that the world is soon to be shattered into pieces. It turns Guy from an NPC who is only a peripheral and passive figure into a hero who saves the Free City.

Hollywood film star Ryan Reynolds, who performs Guy, and the film's director Shawn Levy had a video interview online on Friday. Mr. Levy emphasized that "Free Guy” differentiates itself from other films based on game stories by choosing an NPC as a leading role, saying that his upcoming movie will be the first of its kind to let an NPC who is only part of the backgrounds unfold a story although “Mortal Kombat,” “Tomb Raider” and other game-based films were produced earlier. The film director explained that typical films and games are centered on a single hero as main character, adding that his new film gives a voice to a bit part actor in the backdrop and allows him to have influence over his surroundings and grow from an average man into a legitimate hero.

As described by Mr. Levy, "Free Guy” adds a new definition of what a hero is like to be. The forthcoming film portrays how an average Joe working at a bank whose life is all about friends and beer transforms into an extraordinary hero. Reynolds, the leading actor of "Free Guy,” defies the notion that heroes are special species and they are born to be capable of everything that it takes to save the rest of the world, adding that it is ordinary people who take heroic action in the real world. He said that bravery starts from your awareness of fear and ordinariness in your ego makes you into a true hero. He shared his own definition of a real hero as an average person who breaks the mold of comfort and complacency to come forward to help people around him. It means more to see an unexpected rise of an ordinary person as a hero, he said.

"Free Guy” provides illusive and immersive experience to viewers to the extent that they may feel as if they were playing the game by faithfully adding game factors to itself. It is part of everyday life that online players embark on a gun battle on the street with fighter jets and helicopters blasting away from explosion in the skies. Even a mere look at interesting game items such as a pair of shoes for a super jump into the air or a medical tool box that refills energy in a player once he touches it. Mr. Levy said that he wanted to provide a genuine description of culture across gamers or game backgrounds. The director sought advice from game designers and developers to depict game-related factors in his film with as much accuracy and realism as possible. However, he emphasized that he had never forgotten that it is a film by nature, adding that it allows anyone who has no idea about the game to understand and enjoy the storyline.

Jae-Hee Kim jetti@donga.com