“Free Guy” takes the intrigue of a video game movie to the next level

Ryan Reynolds (left) and Jodie Comer in “Free Guy”. (20th century workshops)

For stars Jodie Comer and Joe Keery, “Free Guy” is a video game film that takes it to the next level.

The actors love how the story of a background character in an online game who suddenly develops a sense of purpose is filled with uplifting moments on top of all the fun moments.

“The movie, at its core, is kind of a heavy existential crisis, but it’s disguised in this video game vehicle like an action comedy, kind of a love movie,” Keery told the Daily News. “Things are pretty serious and pretty relevant, so this was something immediate that impressed me quite a bit.”

The characters of Comer and Keery in “Free Guy,” now in theaters, are programming partners who develop and sell an open-world video game, to see their lifelong work put aside by the buyer.

However, Comer’s Milly suspects that the buyer stole her idea and incorporated it into her own game. She plays her game using her character, Molotov Girl, in hopes of finding out the truth.

It is during this in-game mission that Molotov Girl meets Guy, a non-playable character played by Ryan Reynolds, who goes beyond his lineup as a simple bank teller and goes his own way as a hero.

“One really exciting aspect was the fact that this was a new concept; it was a new idea, ”Comer told The News. “When I first read the script I could really feel how there was a lot of imagination and there was a lot of detail in there, so I think it was really appealing.”

Scenes in the film alternate between the real world and the video game world, with Comer – who won a 2019 lead actress Emmy for “Killing Eve” – ​​playing both Milly and Molotov Girl.

“They’re both incredibly strong, but their strengths lie in very different places,” said Comer, 28.

“What I liked about Milly is that she is super determined. She’s tough. She’s wickedly intelligent. She has a real sense of herself. And then Molotov is the very strong physically, who is very cool and she can do all those superhuman things. It was really nice to exercise those two things and dive into both worlds.

Keery’s Keys, meanwhile, is employed by the man who bought their game and is initially reluctant to join Milly in his mission.

“When you meet him at the top of the movie, he’s pretty depressed, and there’s already a solid backstory for this character before he really has to work,” said Keery, 29. “He and Milly have worked and dedicated their entire lives to making this game. They sell it, which is a big win, and then it’s put aside and their friendship sort of dissolves.

Keery, who rose to fame playing fan favorite Steve Harrington in “Stranger Things,” says the complicated friendship between his characters and those of Comer is the “emotional backbone” of the film.

He loved to see Reynolds’ artificial figure display a sense of humanity in his virtual world of violence and crime.

“It’s about Guy choosing to do the right thing and be a good person under extremely crazy circumstances,” Keery said of the film.

Comer was inspired by how each character goes on their own journey of self-discovery and admires all that went into building the video game world of the film.

“It’s so colorful and vibrant, and all of the details going on in the background when there’s actually something pretty serious and emotional going on in a scene,” Comer said. “There are so many nuances.

Andrea G. Henderson