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Free Guy
  • Composed by Christophe Beck

Shawn Levy’s Free Guy is mostly set within a video game, in which a non-playable character, Guy (Ryan Reynolds), gradually comes to realise what he is and gains sentience; back in the real world, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle about who owns the code. It seems to have been a big hit with most people, but beyond Reynolds’s charm I didn’t take much out of it. Said charm is at the heart of the opening track of Christophe Beck’s score, “Have a Great Day”, which introduces the delightful, upbeat theme for Guy, set in an instrumental atmosphere playing off the American dream. It’s a shame we don’t hear more of it in the score itself, but Beck was somewhat limited in what he could really do with his music given many of the movie’s pivotal scenes were accompanied by songs.

The score’s other great feature is its “love theme” of sorts, which Beck carries over from his score from the 2012 Pixar short Paperman (and it’s even credited – a rarity indeed). It’s heard most fully in this score in “Ice Cream”, a charming little piece for piano and strings. The bulk of the relatively short album is much bigger than these more intimate highlights, with some bulkier orchestral drama accompanying Guy’s “awakening” – this does get a nice theme, explored most fully in “This Ends Now”, with warm strings and horn chords providing the score with its finest moment – and some action material. The latter tends to be on the generic side but still provides some entertainment – I do like the over-the-top ending of “Two Glocks”, and when Beck leans slightly on Alan Silvestri’s The Avengers (the theme from which is quoted in full in the movie, though not on the album) and Don Davis’s The Matrix it’s quite good fun spotting the references. It’s a shame that these parts, which dominate the score, don’t have a strong thematic identity of their own but otherwise Beck pushes all the right buttons with them. Whether you remember much about it after it finishes is less than certain, but Free Guy is an entertaining, easy album to listen to.

Rating: *** | |

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