Lists

Top 5 Friday: Ryan Reynolds’ Comedy Roles

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week. I couldn’t exactly start a new series last Friday and then skip the next week, so although I’m writing this at quite short notice, I’m back again with another Top 5 list. After watching Free Guy (2021), a movie I’ve been waiting forever for, and being reminded why I fell in love with Ryan Reynolds in the first place, I thought I’d take a look through all the movies he’s in that I’ve seen and pick my favourite comedic roles of his.

Here are mine, and I’d love to know what yours are!

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#5 Jerry Hickfang/Mr. Whiskers/Boscoe, The Voices (2014)

One of the more obscure Ryan Reynolds movies, I wish The Voices had a wider audience. Has it ever been on one of the main streaming platforms? Netflix would make this blow up, for sure. Ryan Reynolds plays Jerry, a mentally unhinged factory worker who’s trying to not be a murderer. Not only does Ryan play Jerry, he voices Jerry’s potty-mouthed cat and lovable dog, as well as a few other animals if I remember rightly.

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#4 Chris Brander, Just Friends (2005)

If Just Friends isn’t on your list of Christmas movies to watch every year, then you really need to correct that. Ryan Reynolds plays Chris Brander, a guy who used to be fat and uncool in school but who’s now fit, confident and successful, and determined to win the girl of his High School dreams. You can make the fat kid fit, but he’ll always be a dork deep inside.

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#3 Mitch Planko, The Change-Up (2011)

This isn’t a well-loved movie and I’ll forgive you for judging me for even putting it in a Top 5, but The Change-Up is my comfort comedy movie, I’ve seen it so many times I could probably recite it word for word. Mitch Planko is a guy who just never grew up, despite everyone around him getting more responsible. He has all of the dry humour that Ryan Reynolds does best which is why I like it so much.

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#2 Guy/Dude, Free Guy (2021)

It would be a pretty strange list if Free Guy never made it into the Top 5, wouldn’t it? I think if I watched it a second time I might actually bump my score up to 5/5, you know. Only Ryan Reynolds could play someone like Guy, a clueless NPC who loves his life. It’s the way he delivers his lines that makes him so funny, and I mean the dry quips as well as “FRIENDLY HAND GESTURE”.

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#1 Deadpool, Deadpool (2016) & Deadpool 2 (2018)

There’s no other role that could take the top spot, is there? Sometimes I have to remind myself that Deadpool the character existed before Ryan Reynolds played him in the movie. It’s like the character was written for him. There’s only a few comic book castings this perfect in my mind, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.

Movie Reviews

Free Guy (2021)

free-guy-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Shawn Levy

Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 115 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Owen Burke, Channing Tatum, Matty Cardarople

Plot: Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a bank teller in Free City, living each day just like the last, until he meets Millie, aka Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) who helps him discover he’s actually an NPC in a video game.

My Thoughts: I can’t even tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to this movie. Ryan Reynolds is my favourite comedic actor, and I’ve been a gamer since I was little so this movie was made for me. To get to see it 2 days early as part of my local cinema’s secret movie night was just the icing on the cake. It was so worth the wait!  I was expecting a half-decent comedy with lots of references, similar to Ready Player one (2018) and it was so much more than that. It somehow had quite an original storyline, and a decent romcom side plot too which I wasn’t expecting.

Yes, the references are great. World of Warcraft players will have a few big ones to laugh about. Just look up the cast on IMDB to find loads of huge voice cameos, too. There’s so much detail to Free Guy that I think you could watch it 5 times and still find new things to marvel over. I’m familiar with Jodie Comer (but she reminds me so much of someone and I can’t put my finger on who) but I loved her here. It’s a lot of fun seeing a character in real life and then comparing them to their game character in Free City. Honestly, fun is just the perfect word to describe everything about it.

I don’t want to discuss the bigger jokes in detail because there’s some really shocking cameos and surprises that are better to be witnessed without knowing about them. This is the kind of movie that demands to be seen in a cinema. The buzz, the crowd of people laughing out loud at even the smaller jokes, it was just such a great experience. I don’t know what’s around the corner but for now, cinema is back and I’m here for it.

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Best Bit: *SPOILERS* Ask anyone their favourite moment and I guarantee most will have the same answer. Guy lifting up Captain America’s shield just at the critical moment, with the Avengers music blaring, followed by Chris Evans watching from his phone – BRILLIANT. The whole room absolutely lost it, in fact I haven’t seen a crowd lose it like that since that famous Captain America moment in Endgame! And then Dude. Just…Dude. What a character.

Worst Bit: The gamer in me can’t help but pick apart some of the logic here, I’m sorry. It was the only thing stopping me from giving it a full 5 out of 5. I know it’s for storytelling purposes that Guy couldn’t be stopped, but if that’s the case why show us that the staff have their own characters and can activate God Mode if they aren’t ever going to use it again?

Fun Trivia: Shortly after Guy dons the sunglasses, over his shoulder you can see a power-up on the floor entitled “Blatant Product Placement”, which appears in the shape of a gin bottle. This is likely a reference to Aviation American Gin, of which Ryan Reynolds (who plays Guy) had a stake in and maintains an ongoing ownership interest.

My Rating: 4 and a half cups of medium coffee, with cream and two sugars.

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Movie Reviews

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

hitmans-wifes-bodyguard-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Patrick Hughes

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 99 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant, Gary Oldman, Tom Hopper, Caroline Goodall, Blake Ritson

Plot: Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is on sabbatical after the events of the first movie, he’s taken a vacation in Capri (like the pants) and he’s given up guns. That all comes crashing down on him very quickly when Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) turns up, guns blazing, to recruit him to help free Sonia’s captured husband Darius (Samuel L. Jackson).

My Thoughts: These big movie releases are really sneaking up on me. It felt like winter and lockdown 3 were never going to end and now here we are, slap bang in the middle of summer! It’s always good to see Ryan Reynolds on the big screen though, even if the movie isn’t good I know I’m in for some fun. Which, as it turns out, is exactly how last night panned out for me. The original Hitman’s Bodyguard movie was decent, but nothing new, and this sequel is…eh. The plot sucks, let me be blunt. It’s textbook comedy/crime/action down to the letter, but the main trio make it worth it.

You’ll be bitterly disappointed if you were hoping for a clever storyline with some jaw-dropping action scenes, but if you’re up for an hour and a half of Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson kicking ass and being sarcastic a$$holes, then this is the movie for you. Ryan Reynolds gets to be his usual sarcastic self, Samuel L. Jackson gets to say his favourite ‘M’ word at least a dozen times, and Salma Hayek is surprisingly the biggest potty mouth of them all, and they have great chemistry together. I would actually be up for a third movie if it ever happened just for them.

It’s a shame that the plot sucked, but I wouldn’t trade the humour for a better storyline. The movie doesn’t try to be anything more than a fun night at the cinema with a bucket of popcorn. It follows that stereotypical kidnap, revenge, someone you thought was good turned out to be bad, heroes save the day business. All in all, worth a watch if you know what to expect!

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Best Bit: Ryan Reynolds just has no shame, does he? I laughed so hard when his character got thrown into a giant wall of Aviation gin (his own company, if you didn’t already know). I was expecting references to Wrexham Football Club and Mint Mobile to come next. Or did they happen and I just missed them?

Worst Bit: So, when The Change-Up (2011) was released, it was my favourite comedy ever for a long time and I watched it a lot. I mean, A LOT. So much so that Alan Arkin will now forever be known as Ryan Reynolds’ Dad in my mind. So you can imagine my excitement when the mystery built over who Michael Bryce’s father was! The actual reveal was even better though, Ii have to admit.

Fun Trivia: Ryan Reynolds has said of being slapped around in this movie: “In Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, I’m slapped in the face twice by Salma Hayek and once by Samuel L. Jackson. For the record, it was Salma who didn’t pull the punches. Not even once. I can still feel the sharp sting of her tiny hand working its way into my soft Hollywood cheekbones. May God have mercy on her soul.”

My Rating: 3 out of 5 guns that Michael will absolutely not touch, because he’s on sabbatical!

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Movie Reviews

6 Underground (2019)

6-underground-2019-netflix-movieDirector: Michael Bay

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 127 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Dave Franco

Plot: 6 underground agents work together on the world’s most dangerous, top-secret missions. All of them have buried their pasts behind them and are completely off the grid. Essentially, this is Michael Bay’s Suicide Squad.

My Thoughts: I’m avoiding writing anything about Rise of Skywalker at the moment for fear of creating something 1,000 words long and completely incoherent, so let me tell you about this piece of trash movie I watched earlier this week instead. If you have a Netflix account then it’s impossible to not know anything about it. I’ve seen it, and Netflix is still shoving it in my face. It’s the second most expensive Netflix movie out there, second to The Irishman.

Is it any good? That depends entirely on what you want from the movie. If you want a decent plot, character development, and a logical story that doesn’t overstay its welcome, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you want to watch Ryan Reynolds play himself, car chases, explosions, fight scenes and corny jokes in spades, then you’re going to love it. For me, it was half an hour too long to pass as a good movie. I just wasn’t interested enough, but it still had a lot of memorable moments.

I should probably tell you to avoid the movie but…there’s still something about it that’s fun. In amongst all the nausea-inducing shaky-cam moments and attempts at invoking emotion, there are jokes that land and action scenes that are actually stunning. It’s a mess, but it’s a beautiful mess.

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Best Bit: The movie opens with a car chase scene and honestly? It’s probably the best I’ve ever seen. Maybe I haven’t seen enough action movies but this monstrous scene shows the realities behind a car chase this wild, pedestrians being flung around like crisp packets!

Worst Bit: Where do I even begin? There are plenty of cringy moments, but the one that made me laugh loudest was when a rooftop swimming pool was smashed open which caused more flooding than Sharknado!

Fun Trivia: A year prior to the release Ryan Reynolds posted a video of himself talking about how quiet Michael Bay’s movies are, while in the background a car explodes. This scene is in the movie and you can actually see Ryan Reynolds in the background filming the crash.

My Rating: 2 and a half bottles of Aviation Gin, only the tip of the iceberg that is shameless product placement in this movie.

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Movie Reviews

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

fast-furious-hobbs-and-shaw-2019-poster-reviewDirector: David Leitch

Genre: Action

Runtime: 137 Minutes

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart

Plot: I wanted to try and explain the plot in my own words as I usually do, but the plot on IMDB is just so darn perfect I couldn’t even try and do it better: ‘Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity’.

My Thoughts: Never did I ever think my most anticipated movie of the summer would be a Fast & Furious movie. Nothing against them, but I’ve only seen the first and fifth ones so far. I enjoyed both, but it feels like there are so many of them now it would take ages to catch up! That said, the trailers that got thrown at me for months never got old and I was SO excited to see Hobbs & Shaw on the weekend. If nothing else, it was worth it to see Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham bicker for over 2 hours.

The move just does exactly what it says on the tin. Okay – the first 10 minutes pretty much tell you exactly how the movie is going to end but you don’t go into movies like this expecting surprises (apart from one huge one I’ll come to shortly). My bestie and cinema date last night should be grateful I wasn’t driving home because there’s something about crazy car chase scenes in busy cities that make me want to drive away like I was driving something 10-times more powerful than my go-kart of a car!

Loads of movies can do action well but what seals the deal for Hobbs & Shaw is the cast. I’ve raved enough about Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham but Idris Elba rocks it as the bad guy (is there anything the man can’t do?!) and Vanessa Kirby? Yaaaaas! She can kick your ass, pour you the biggest drink you’ve ever seen and then insult you so quickly you won’t even know what happened. What a badass.

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Best Bit: You guys, I’ve been raving about this movie for months and NOONE mentioned Ryan Reynolds was in it?! How did I not even know myself? It was so blatantly clear he wasn’t even given a script and I couldn’t be happier. Who cares if he’s typecast when he does his thing so well? Our whole cinema was on the verge of tears from crying so much at his lines.
Also – please don’t tell me I’m the only one who didn’t realise the joke until the airport security guy read out “Mike Oxmaul”??

Worst Bit: It’s my age-old complaint, it dragged towards the end. I’ve nothing against the runtime but that third act seemed to go on forever, and the weirdest part was it ended so abruptly, only to continue the actual story whilst the credits were rolling. What was up with that? We almost left the room just when Ryan Reynolds turned up to spoil the Game of Thrones ending for anyone who hasn’t faced watching that last episode yet!

Fun Trivia: Idris Elba refused to say a scripted line for his character, calling himself “the black James Bond”. He instead used the phrase “black Superman”. Elba has been rumoured to be in consideration for the role of James Bond, and would be the first black actor to portray Bond.
Good on him to be honest…it would be an odd line to say anyway considering he was playing a bad guy?!

My Rating: 4 best friends necklaces…I’ll give you half, Ryan!

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