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To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Free Guy Ticket

Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds standing back to back in the stash house in Free Guy.

Every now and then, a surprise comes along in the world of 3D that makes for an interesting scenario. While Free Guy certainly looked like it was a movie that’d benefit from a third dimensional experience, there wasn’t a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding the potential. And yet, the time has indeed come to talk out whether you should become one of the sunglasses people and see Ryan Reynolds’ latest action-comedy in 3D, or if you’re better off depositing that money at the Free City Bank.

Should you want to know how Free Guy measures up as a movie in general, head on over to the official review and read it for yourself! However, if you’re ready to see if the explosive thrills, and other effects, make for a 3D extravaganza, then you’re in the right place! Slip on your own magic glasses, and check out how Free Guy fares in 3D!

Free Guy is literally a movie about how “magic glasses” change the life of an NPC in a playfully violent video game. If that’s not a 3D fit, it’s time for me to get out of this gig. Free City’s open world allows for a lot of wonderful possibilities when it comes to using the 3D format, especially when Guy slips on the glasses himself and sees that intricate heads up display. But even in the “real world,” Free Guy manages to make things pop, thanks to interesting transitions and the ability to frame conversations as more than just a series of cuts back and forth.

When you can make something as simple as watching a YouTube video stand out in 3D, you’ve clearly thought about how you’re going to wow the audience. Both the mundane and the exciting are given the same amount of consideration in Free Guy’s eye-popping visuals, and it’s certainly not by accident. But even something as simple as separating characters from their backgrounds comes off as an extra sharp contrast when watching the end result. There’s a lot of love baked into this 3D presentation from the good folks at Stereo-D, and it shows.

While Free Guy isn’t constantly throwing objects out of the screen, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t impress in our “Before The Window” segment. In line with Disney’s most recent 3D presentation, Jungle Cruise, there’s a healthy amount of objects that poke out at the audience. Several scenes where guns are drawn on Free City denizens put the audience in the line of fire, and components of the third act action setpieces see cars, debris, and Disney copyrighted iconography poking through the window and into the audience. Plus, if you ever wanted to see Ryan Reynolds’ face magnified by a goldfish bowl, in 3D, you won’t be disappointed.

Depth of field is usually not a problem with most 3D movies, with most films using the background as another canvas to impress the audience. While a more subtle effect, if you look beyond the 3D window carefully enough, what you find may surprise you. Free Guy is, again, unsurprising in the fact that it takes full advantage of picture depth, especially with Guy’s heads up display view of some sequences. Characters and their environments are clearly delineated, so much so that there’s an extra pop when you shift focus from character to background, and back again. Plus, the sequence where Guy and Millie are driving away from a city that’s literally closing in around them is a true standout in terms of the depth drawn in that ever shrinking canyon of doom.

Brightness is a habitual problem with the 3D presentation for films like Free Guy. Showing off bright daytime scenes, as well as stealth nighttime missions, the standard version is a color rich film without 3D enhancements. However, after watching that action in 3D, there is sadly a bit of dimming when it comes to the colors presented in the film. This factor isn’t totally determined by the finished product, as the theater you’re choosing to see a film like Free Guy at may not be calibrating their projectors properly when they switch between 2D and 3D showings. Watching Free Guy won’t tax your eyes too much, and the darker night time scenes are absolutely clear enough to watch painlessly. However, it’s sad that in this viewing of Free Guy, the daytime sequences in the color stylized world of Free City tended to be a bit murkier than hoped.

The oldest trick in the 3D book, besides throwing objects precariously out at the audience, is taking your glasses off during the show. Removing your 3D frames during a movie like Free Guy, you should be able to see a world of blur populating the image. That’s usually indicative of the level of manipulation that’s been implemented to simulate a 3D image, and when it comes to Shawn Levy’s videogame comedy, it’s alive and well. So much so that when you take a look at close up moments where characters are used as 2D anchor points, the contrast between them and the complexly drawn backgrounds is as sharp as it can be. Also, standard wide shots are total fields of blur.

Free Guy isn’t exactly a movie that stands still and lets things happen around it. Dynamic camera work and an insane oner are present to open the movie, with 3D thrills already presenting themselves as Free City makes itself known to the audience. With that sort of frantic movement, audience health can be a bit of an issue, as if the movements are too fast, the 3D effect gets a bit wonky. There’s only a little bit of this sort of wonk with Free Guy’s fast moving world, and most of it is in that hyperkinetic opening. It doesn’t last for long, and it won’t make you sick, but your eyes may get a bit confused for small stretches as a result.

Even with some minor gaps in the Brightness and Audience Health department, Free Guy is a lot of fun to see in a 3D showing. The team responsible for this beautiful effort have a keen eye on taking the worlds of gaming and reality, and helping them collide in a 3D result that’s another welcomed treat in the world of glasses enhanced action. Just be sure to select a theater you trust to keep their brightness levels maintained, as that was the most compromised segment of this particular showing.

If you’re interested in taking this ride, if only to see what a game of Jeopardy would look like in 3D, be sure to check your local listings carefully. You may need to really hunt down a 3D showing of Free Guy in your area, as we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and 3D is still a bit limited in its footprint for the moment. But if you like a good time with cars and shotguns coming at you, you’ll want to meet up with this Guy for sure. With that in mind, we return you to the real, totally 3D world of reality, and until next time, don’t just have a good 3D experience...have a great one!

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Be sure to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.