The less you actually question anything that happens in this two-and-a-half-minute chunk of Shawn Levy’s Free Guy is probably for the best, as the moment you attempt to apply any form of coherent logic to it, it threatens to fall apart as spectacularly as its video game NPC hero’s life does.
But, if you don’t engage that ol’ grey matter of yours, Free Guy—starring Ryan Reynolds as the titular Guy, a bank teller NPC in an open-world online GTA-meets-Fortnite Battle Royale pastiche apparently run by a villainous Taika Waititi—looks like a whole bunch of senseless action fun. Liberally taking its video game influence roots and running with it for a madcap, explosion-filled effects fest, the film follows Guy’s rote life as a cog in the machine until a chance encounter with a woman named Milly (Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer) gives him the realization that being a game protagonist is much more fun than being an NPC.
It’s from there of course that Free Guy goes a bit doolally, turning Guy’s hapless life into a guns-blazing mashup of GTA, Need For Speed, and a little bit of classic Mario or Sonic style platforming and power-up collecting for good measure. Does it barely make any sense? Maybe. Does its understanding of any kind of video game logic or mechanics go out the window almost immediately? Absolutely. But Taika Waititi takes an axe to a server rack at one point, and that’s pretty funny.
According to the press release, the film also has cameos from “some of the video gaming world’s most influential figures”: Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott, Seán William “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, and Daniel “DanTDM” Middleton. You know, if that’s something that interests you.
Free Guy releases in theaters August 13.
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Toys and CollectiblesAction figures, statues, exclusives, and other merchandise. Beware: if you look here, you’re probably going to spend some money afterwards.
Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9’s regular round up of the latest and greatest toys and collectibles that make it difficult to remain a fiscally responsible adult. This week brings gauntlets galore, a memorable Thor foe, a prime example of Prime, a Lego symbol of acceptance and inclusivity, and enough foam to throw a rave. Check it out!
Takara Tomy MPM-12 Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime
As enjoyable as the Bumblebee movie was, it was also a painful reminder of the crimes Michael Bay committed when creating his live-action Transformers films, particularly with all the much-too-short scenes featuring a CG Optimus Prime inspired by the character’s original ‘80s toy. It’s hard to say when we’ll see another Transformers film, but you can tide yourself over with Takara Tomy’s new MPM-12 Masterpiece Optimus Prime figure based on the bot’s appearance in Bumblebee. It includes lots of intricate detailing, right down to the rivets on the truck’s body panels, as well as the Matrix of Leadership, but is also fully transformable. It’s available for pre-order now from Hobby Link Japan for $150, but shipping isn’t expected until October.
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Lego Marvel Infinity Gauntlet
The most coveted plot device in motion picture and comic book history has finally gotten the Lego treatment, but while you can’t actually wear this brick-built replica of the Infinity Gauntlet, the 590-piece replica sets a new record with 153 drum-lacquered gold pieces—the most bling to ever be included in a single set. The set trades a scale that would allow the gauntlet to be used as a cosplay replica for affordability—it’s available for pre-order now for $70, and starts shipping on August 1—but the individual finger elements are all posable, which means that while on its included display stand you can recreate the infamous snap, or other hand gestures the seven-year-old version of you would find hilarious.
It’s a credit to both Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi that Thor: Ragnarok’s interaction between Thor and Surtur, a towering demon bent on destroying Asgard, ended up being one of the funniest scenes in the entire MCU. Spoiler alert: Surtur and Thor didn’t exactly depart on friendly terms, but with your imagination and this 13-inch articulated figure from Hasbro, they can be the best of friends. The only catch? The $53 figure, which doesn’t ship until September at the earliest, appears to already be sold out on Hasbro Pulse.
Hasbro Marvel Legends Series Iron Man Nano Gauntlet
If you’re bummed you can’t wear Lego’s version of the Infinity Gauntlet, Hasbro’s got your back with a consolation prize: an 18-inch long wearable replica of Iron Man’s Nano Gauntlet that includes sound effects and six removable Infinity Stones that light up when attached to the gauntlet. All of the fingers are articulated, too, so you can recreate Tony Stark’s heroic sacrifice without, you know, actually having to leave a very successful and profitable film franchise. The Iron Man Nano Gauntlet is available for pre-order on Hasbro Pulse for $125, but isn’t expected to ship until early November.
Little Tikes FOAMO Foam Machine
After a year spent exhausting every imaginable activity at home, we probably all feel like we need something different to do in 2021. The answer to that is obviously filling every square inch of livable space we have with mountains and mountains of foam. Most of Little Tikes’ toys are designed primarily for the younger set, but the $190 FOAMO machine is perfect for anyone wanting to bring the rave experience home. Everything you need comes in a packable storage container that can also be used to create the five-to-one water to soap ratio that’s fed into a giant blower to churn out bubbles by the millions. The included tub of bubble solution is also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and easily wipes off surfaces with a damp cloth, so when the party is over, you’re not left with hours of cleanup.
Lego Everyone Is Awesome
One of the many benefits of Lego is that, for the most part, it’s a gender-neutral toy, which is now officially celebrated with a new 346-piece Everyone is Awesome set featuring 11 monochromatic but brightly colored minifigures perched atop a color-coordinated display stand. According to Lego design VP Matthew Ashton, who originally designed the set to sit on their desk, the company has “…made sure to include black and brown colors to represent the broad diversity of everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community. We’ve also added in the pale blue, white, and pink to support and embrace the trans community as well. I purposely put the purple drag queen in as a clear nod to the fabulous side of the LGBTQIA+ community.” The set will be officially available starting on June 1 for $35, and in addition to helping promote acceptance and inclusivity, it also comes with an excellent variety of minifigure hair pieces.
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