First we saw Guy, now we have Dude. In a new promotional video for Free Guy, star Ryan Reynolds has revealed that he is playing not one, but two parts in the video game comedy: Guy, the passive NPC character who leads the film, and Dude, another non-playable character designed by Taika Waititi’s Antwan.
Antwan didn’t put much effort into Dude, clearly, as his catchphrase seems to be nothing more than that — the word “catchphrase” as a filler, because Antwan hadn’t had time to think of anything else. And in a true Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style visual, Dude is nothing more than Reynolds’ head CGI’d onto an incredibly muscular body in a way that looks just fake enough to play into the satirical-style comedy of Free Guy.
In the confessional style video posted to Reynolds’ Twitter, Dude (or Reynolds as Dude, rather) extols the boundaries of his impressive physique in a rather dark and undesirable way. (Not unlike that of Reynolds’ most famous on-screen persona: Deadpool.) Dude seems to be Antwan’s way of stopping Guy from breaking free of his endlessly regenerated non-player character world, with enough muscle to send him and Lil Rel Howery’s Buddy flying with barely any effort.
The video pokes fun at workout gurus and celebrities who “bulk up” for films, with Reynolds professing that he starts every day with a “human muscle” protein bomb, and flexing his muscles with every word. The CGI movements of Reynolds’ face are just slightly too uncanny valley to feel real, making his comments about taking less than a week to muscle up — and passing down that physique to his children — all the funnier, particularly when combined with the large tattoo of a blue polo shirt placed strategically on Dude’s pectoral.
Combining the confessional with footage from the upcoming film, the video creates a portrait of Dude as a stereotypical model of male perfection — after being launched by one of his punches, Buddy proclaims that “he punches so hard, but his hands are so soft.” And in comparison to Guy, the regular, everyday office worker, Dude creates an interesting dichotomy for Reynolds to play out when Free Guy finally hits theaters, after over a year of COVID-19 related delays.
The story of a man who discovers his life is nothing more than fodder for an open-world video game, Free Guy also stars Jodie Comer, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Joe Keery. It is directed by Shawn Levy with a screenplay from Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn, and executive produced by George Dewey, Scott Elias, Dan Levine, Michael Riley McGrath, and Mary and Josh McLaglen.
Free Guy hits theaters on August 13. Check out the brand new promo below: