Las Vegas film critic Josh Bell is back with a look at 2 movies this week.
The biggest new release this week is Free Guy, now playing in theaters. Ryan Reynolds stars as Guy, a background character in a popular online multi-player video game. When Guy becomes self-aware, he throws the game into chaos, creating problems for the video game company but capturing the imagination of the players. He teams up with a game designer played by Jodie Comer, who's trying to expose the company for stealing her ideas, and of course they also fall in love. There are a lot of surprisingly complex sci-fi ideas thrown around in this mostly dumb action comedy, but the movie never seems to know what to do with them. It's more entertaining when it just plays with its fun sketch-comedy premise, and Ryan Reynolds is an amiable presence as the clueless but enthusiastic Guy.
Now streaming on Netflix is the thriller Beckett, starring John David Washington as the title character, an American vacationing in Greece with his girlfriend. The building blocks of Beckett are as basic and unadorned as the movie's title: An average guy witnesses something sinister that he wasn't supposed to see, and then has to evade nefarious forces that are trying to kill him, while he seeks to uncover the truth about a shadowy conspiracy. But just because nearly everything in Beckett has been seen before doesn't mean that it isn't effective. Beckett is always engaging and watchable, grounded in John David Washington's gritty performance and a plot that, like its protagonist, never stops moving forward.