Free Guy (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

One of the summer 2021 box office season’s biggest surprises was the Ryan Reynolds led Free Guy. A film which many of us were very familiar with, seeing the trailer in theaters and online for a quite a long time. That was the case with plenty of movies, but Free Guy sort of stuck out. However, it wound up being a pretty nice hit and was an original film having people wanting to got to the theater to see it. That’s a great thing. The movie being pretty good had something to do with that as well. Now it arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray from Fox via Disney and you can own it with its Atmos track and assorted bonus features on October 12th.




A bank teller (Ryan Reynolds) who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game decides to become the hero of his own story – one he rewrites himself. Now, in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way … before it’s too late.

While there are many similarities to Ready Player One with Free Guy, there’s a sense of originality and authenticity with it that feels a bit fresh. There are no IPs to crutch on for a cameo to deliver a viewer a sugar rush. Its more a reflection of a certain media and the culture and people that go with it that is a priority for Free Guy. Sure, you’re sacrificing the expertise of Spielberg, but Shawn Levy does quite an admirable job here.

On the bonus materials, Shawn Levy mentions that its a modern take on The Truman Show and that really hits the nail on the head and how its different than the contemporaries. Sure there’s a good versus evil thing and big CGI action sequences to thrill, but Free Guy succeeds because its more concerned and cares about its characters first and foremost. It really lives up to its premise of being about the NPC that no one pays much attention to. While we have leads, the supporting and even background characters in the film really are given care and purpose. This extends to the world beyond the video game as well.

Free Guy features some fun, innovative action that recognizes where its supposed to ape a video game, but also is able to reign in to be fit for a feature film blockbuster as well. There are fun visuals and humor thrown into the action that feel quite relevant. In terms of being a video game based movie, the film is pretty easy to pick up on and follow throughout, despite probably not even knowing much about modern video game culture. And I assume it is littered with easter eggs and references for hardcore gamers. The film appears to have found a balance in between without losing either side of its audience spectrum and that’s both cool and impressive.

Going into Free Guy, I expected the film to be a decent, fun time. However, it wound up taking things a step above that. The film features some really good thoughts and a nice focus on characters. Mix that with some fun action and good humor, you really have a blockbuster movie that can please almost any movie-goer. And that’s probably why this film did so well in terms of reviews, audience reception and box office. Bonus that its an original as well.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Free Guy arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for the first time as a 4K upscale, having been finished with a 2K digital intermediate. I’ll argue this is on the positive end of those. There is a decent uptick from the standard Blu-ray in terms of a more detailed image that is a bit more refined and has better contrast for a good pop. The CGI effects hold strong and don’t show any signs of cracks from the upconvert. Overall, this is the best way to watch this movie easily.

Depth:  The movie features a rather nice depth of field that improves with this 4K disc. There is a A LOT going on at all times in the city scenes and its all spaced good and features a really nice pushback. Movement is smooth, natural and has no issue handling a lot of rapid action, so not a trace of any jitter or blur.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and more natural here in this image. They help sharpen and refine this picture to a much crisper look. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty vivid and have a nice flair on them. The palette almost feels a hair tropical in the grand scheme of things. There’s a bump in glow on signs, fires and displays when the HDR on the 4K disc.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial information and textures are quite easily visible, showcasing make-up strokes, wrinkles, stubble, dried blood, pores and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, French (Canada) 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, German 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Italian 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Japanese 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French, French (Canada), Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics: Free Guy’s Dolby Atmos track is actually rather nice, especially since its coming from the Disney camp. I did have to crank it about 8 notches from where my normal default setting is, but after that its a pretty rollicking experience. There’s a nice blend and balance of the vocals, music, effects and subwoofer contribution that really works in harmony together to bring a good and impactful surround sound experience in your viewing space.

Height:  The ceiling channels are some of the most busy I’ve heard from an Atmos track. This film features a lot of action and activity happening from above and the mix takes full advantage of that. Debris, ziplining, gunfire, explosions, aircraft and so much more fill out above your head when watching.

Low Frequency Extension: Some good subwoofer pounding from crashing, explosions, gunfire, bursts, slamming, punches, waves crashing and more.

Surround Sound Presentation: This movie is a whirlwind of rolling sound and stuff going on all the time in any speaker. Its a busy mix an that’s welcome because that’s the video game world we are in. Lots of effort was put into this and it truly pays off handsomely for the viewer.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, always present and audible in the mix. Feeling a part of their environment without ever being detached or to heavily focused.


Free Guy comes with the standard Blu-ray version and a redeemable digital code of the film. All bonus material is found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (HD, 5:43) 

Gag Reel (HD, 4:48)

Dude VS Guy (HD, 15:55) – Shawn Levy hosts a pretty in depth and informative look at how they shot the climactic fight scene in the film. Features plenty of behind the scene footage and some other from set giving info. Their method for doing so had not really been done before and not successful at that.

Creating Molotovgirl (HD, 7:06) – A pretty decent deep dive into Jodie Comer’s character, from her performance to how they figure out the attire, how the character fits into the world and the idea of how it is a dual role. In addition to Levy and Comer, the costume designer provides plenty of analysis.

It’s Taika’s World (HD, 8:34) – This featurette focus on Taika Waititi’s role and how he is working on a film. There’s a nice aspect of a director being an actor in another director’s film and whatnot.

Welcome To Free City (HD, 15:13) – A piece that focuses on the visual world of Free City. It goes over the sets, the visual inspirations, the cameras and techniques with which to shoot things and a lot more. This really goes setting by setting and gives plenty of anecdotes on how things were approached and how to be original with their film.

Theatrical Trailers (HD, 8:05) – Includes 3 trailers.


Free Guy surprised not only in box office dollars, but in being a better movie than anticipated as well. The 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray debut for the film is as rock solid and good a transfer as any 4K upconverted title. The Atmos track actually is quite good for the company putting it out. Extras wind up being really well done and informative, itself a surprise. This is a nice complete package to pick up and a well done release for a newer movie.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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