Free Guy (2021)

Free Guy
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Matt Lieberman, Zak Penn
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Taika Waititi
Seen on: 16.8.2021

Plot:
Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a bank teller and his best friend Buddy (Lil Rel Howery) is a security guard in the bank. Everyday they go into work and everyday the bank gets robbed. More than once, mostly. Guy is a cheery person, though, but he does wonder whether life holds more for him than bank robberies. He dreams of the girl he saw once, though Buddy doesn’t believe she exists. Until Guy really does see her, decides to break his routine and talk to her – Millie (Jodie Comer), as he learns. What he doesn’t know, though, is that his world is actually a game and Millie is a player, while Guy is an NPC, a non-player character, who shouldn’t be able to make the decisions he makes. Also, Millie is playing for a particular reason.

Free Guy looked fun, but I didn’t expect it to be as much fun as it was. It’s a film that I think will satisfy gamers, as well as people like me who only have a rudimentary knowledge of the kind of computer games that it plays with. I’d say it’s a full success.

The film poster showing Guy (Ryan Reynolds) from behind, standing on a rooftop overlooking a city skyline full of plans, rockets, hot air balloons, parachutes and an explosion. He has a goldfish bowl with a goldfish in one hand and a disposable coffee cup in the other.
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6 Underground (2019)

6 Underground
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Dave Franco, Corey Hawkins, Lior Raz, Payman Maadi, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Kim Kold, Lídia Franco, James Murray
Seen on: 21.7.2021

Content Note: white saviorism

Plot:
A few years ago, a tech billionaire faked his own death to become One (Ryan Reynolds), the leader of a mercenary group set to kill the dictator of Turgistan Rovach (Lior Raz), to put his more liberal brother Murat (Payman Maadi) in power and free Turgistan with the move. But the first mission he and his team of five, only known as numbers Two (Mélanie Laurent), Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Four (Ben Hardy), Five (Adria Arjona), and Six (Dave Franco), go on is an utter disaster – and does not bode well for their overall goal.

After watching F9 and Black Widow, I wanted to keep up the action comedy mood. When I saw the preview still on Netflix for this film, I felt like Ryan Reynolds would probably show me a good time. What I missed was that this is a Michael Bay film, and it’s absolutely one of his worse ones. Dammit, 6 Underground was really and truly bad.

The film poster showing the 7 recruits in various action poses, with One (Ryan Reynolds) taking the center.
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Self/less (2015)

Self/less
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writer: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Melora Hardin, Michelle Dockery
Seen on: 14.5.2020

Plot:
Damian (Ben Kingsley) has led a hugely successful life, regretting only that he is estranged from his daughter Claire (Michelle Dockery). Now he is old, rich and dying. But he doesn’t feel ready to die just yet, so he is happy when he discovers Albright (Matthew Goode), a scientist who promises that he can have a new, freshly grown body and start all over again. Damian agrees to the procedure. When he wakes up, his body (Ryan Reynolds) lives up to all of his dreams. As he gets used to it, though, he also keeps getting haunted by dreams and nightmares that appear to him more real than they have any right to be.

Self/less is a decent film. Nothing here says greatness, but it isn’t bad either. It is like a case study for solid entertainment of a kind that has gotten rarer in recent years as budgets have grown and shrunk, leaving few players in the middle of the field.

The film poster showing older Damian (Ben Kingsley) and younger Damian (Ryan Reynolds) lying on slabs in front of medical machinery.
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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Chris Morgan, Drew Pearce
Spin-off from: The Fast and the Furious series
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Eliana Sua, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, John Tui, Joshua Mauga, Joe Anoa’i, Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds
Seen on: 12.8.2019

Plot:
Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) hate each other, and that is putting it very mildly. But when a dangerous virus, called The Snowflake, is about to get into the wrong hands, they are asked to put aside their differences and go after it together. It was last seen with MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby), as in Deckard’s younger sister. But even though Hattie is keeping it safe at the moment, somebody is still after it and her: Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) who has his own agenda and enhancements to make it happen.

Hobbs & Shaw is a great spin-off form the Fast and the Furious series, hitting just the right tone and style (albeit leaving gaping plot holes with regards to the other films that should not be discussed). I had great fun with it.

The film poster showing the main characters, Big Ben bathed in red light, an explosion, a car, and a motorcycle.
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Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
Based on: Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza‘s comic character
Sequel to: Deadpool
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, Karan Soni, Eddie Marsan, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Lewis Tan, Bill Skarsgård, Terry Crews, Brad Pitt, Alan Tudyk, Matt Damon, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp
Seen on: 8.6.2018

Plot:
After his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) is killed, Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) unravels. His life is literally shot to pieces and it’s Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) who puts him back together again. Reluctantly, Wade agrees to kind of join the X-Men and tries to help with an out of control mutant, Russell Collins aka Firefist (Julian Dennison). But Russell doesn’t really want help and things are more complicated than they look anyway when Cable (Josh Brolin) turns up and claims to be from the future and that he needs to stop Firefist to avert catastrophe.

I enjoyed the first Deadpool movie, but I wasn’t completely enthusiastic about it, so my expectations for this one were rather mild and while Deadpool 2 doesn’t surpass them, it does stay on the same level as the first one: Fun in many ways but some things don’t work that well for me.

Film poster for Deadpool, showing him in the famous pose from Flashdance, only instead of water falling on him, it's bullets.
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The Proposal (2009)

The Proposal
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Peter Chiarelli
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nuñez, Aasif Mandvi
Seen on: 27.12.2017
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Plot:
Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is a good editor and she loves her job. She is not so much a good boss as her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) knows from his own experience. When the Canadian Margaret is confronted with the fact that she might be deported because her visa expired, she pressures Andrew into marrying her. But the immigration officer Mr Gilbertson (Denis O’Hare) isn’t convinced, so they can’t just leave it at the formalities. That’s how Margaret ends up at Andrew’s grandmother’s 90th birthday party. With his welcoming family and the two of them in a decidedly unworklike environment, their relationship starts to change.

The Proposal is cute, if you manage to ignore a lot of things about it (heteros are exhausting). I enjoyed it while it lasted, but it won’t become a favorite or a film I’ll revisit at all.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Director: Patrick Hughes
Writer: Tom O’Connor
Cast: Ryan ReynoldsSamuel L. JacksonSalma HayekElodie YungRichard E. GrantGary OldmanSam Hazeldine, Joaquim de Almeida
Seen on: 6.9.2017
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Plot:
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) used to be the best bodyguard/security manager in the business. That is, until he lost a client in the worst way. Now he’s relegated to small projects with clients of no importance. Which is exactly why his ex-girlfriend Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) contacts him: she’s charged with delivering assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to the International Court in The Hague to testify, but they’ve run into serious trouble and Amelia doesn’t know who else she can trust anymore. But Michael and Darius have an incredibly tense history that they now have to put aside to work together.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is pretty entertaining, albeit not unbelievably great. It has its moments and its weaknesses, but mostly it’s fun.

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Life (2017)

Life
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Ryan ReynoldsRebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dykhovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare
Seen on: 29.3.2017

Plot:
Six astronauts/scientists on the International Space Station study samples that have just been successfully collected on Mars. They hope to find out more about the conditions on Mars, but what they find instead is actually life: a single cell organism that’s either dead or dormant – but it’s there. They can barely contain their excitement, especially when their attempts to revive the organism are actually successful. But they have never encountered a live form like this – and it quickly turns out that it’s more than they bargained for.

Life is a decent, albeit derivative film that works pretty well – at least if you don’t keep comparing it with the Alien franchise it is a little sibling of.

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Deadpool (2016)

Deadpool
Director: Tim Miller
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Based on: Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza‘s comic character
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ed SkreinMorena BaccarinGina Carano, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams
Seen on: 11.2.2016

Plot:
Wade (Ryan Reynolds) used to be a special forces agent, now he’s a mercenary and he’s very much in love with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Things should be simply great, but then he’s diagnosed with cancer and his chances aren’t good at all. In his desperation he agrees to an experimental treatment administered by Ajax (Ed Skrein). But the treatment doesn’t go quite as planned. While effective, it is also torture, leaving Wade healthy and with superstrength and healing abilities, but also with a burnt face and a thirst for vengeance.

Deadpool was funny and entertaining and as juvenile as can be expected from this film. It’s far from perfect and there were quite a few things I took exception to, but overall, I enjoyed it a whole fucking lot.

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Woman in Gold (2015)

Woman in Gold
Director: Simon Curtis
Writer: Alexi Kaye Campbell
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Antje Traue, Elizabeth McGovern, Frances Fisher, Moritz Bleibtreu, Tom Schilling, Justus von Dohnányi, Olivia Silhavy, Ludger Pistor
Seen on: 8.6.2015

Plot:
Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren/Tatiana Maslany) had to flee Austria during the Second World War because she’s Jewish, and has never returned there since she was exiled to the USA and lost most of her family to the Nazis. But after the death of her sister, Maria realizes that she has the responsibility to guard her family’s memories. And part of those memories is the painting of her aunt Adele (Antje Traue), painted by Gustav Klimt (Moritz Bleibtreu), that the Nazsi took from her home and that is now hanging in a federal Austrian museum. As the Austrian government just started hearing restitution claims, Maria asks lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) for help with recovering that painting. They even travel to Austria together, where they meet journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Brühl) who warns them that the Austrian government won’t be cooperative. That proves to be right and Maria and Randy have to dig in for a long fight.

After I read the first reviews, I didn’t expect Woman in Gold to be any good. But I was pleasantly surprised: it’s an engaging and well-made film that is only marred by the German used in the film.

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