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Who is the Bad Guy in Free Guy? An In-Depth Look at the Villainy of Antwan

If you‘ve seen the hit 2021 comedy Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds, you may be wondering—who is the bad guy in Free Guy exactly? The answer is clear: Antwan, the greedy creator of Free City.

In this blog post, we‘ll take an in-depth look at Antwan‘s villainy. As an expert on villains in pop culture and entertainment, I‘ll provide insight into Antwan‘s motives, actions, and ultimate downfall. Let‘s analyze what makes Antwan tick and how he drives the conflict in this thrilling virtual world.

Overview – Hero vs. Villain in Free City

For those who need a quick recap, here‘s an overview of Free Guy‘s plot and how Antwan fits into the story as the villain:

Free Guy follows Guy, a friendly NPC (non-playable character) living in the fictional open world game Free City. He‘s content with his routine existence until he meets the avatar of a real-world programmer named Millie (Molotov Girl in the game).

Millie is on a mission to prove that Free City‘s creator, Antwan, actually stole the code from her and is simply taking credit. So Guy decides to help Millie in her quest for justice, evolving beyond his own programming in the process.

This throws Guy into direct conflict with Antwan, head of the company Soonami Studios which publishes Free City. Antwan resorts to increasingly extreme measures to stop Guy and Millie from revealing the truth.

So in Free Guy, the core battle comes down to the pure-hearted Guy trying to protect the virtual world he loves against the sinister Antwan hungry for money and power. Now let‘s dig into the details of Antwan‘s villainy!

Antwan‘s Crime – Plagiarizing Millie‘s Code

At the root of Antwan‘s bad behavior is the fact he stole proprietary code from two programmers, Millie and Keys, for his own financial gain. Here are the key facts around the theft:

  • Millie and Keys developed a game called Life Itself which featured an advanced AI system.
  • Antwan saw potential in their work and essentially plagiarized it for his own game, Free City.
  • By slightly modifying the code, Antwan tried masking his theft.
  • But Millie identified unique signatures in the Free City code that proved Antwan stole from Life Itself.

This violation of intellectual property and identity theft meant Antwan‘s wildly successful game was built on a lie. His plagiarism kicked off the whole conflict with Millie trying to expose the truth.

Antwan‘s Villainous Acts

Throughout Free Guy, Antwan resorts to various unethical, illegal, and at times violent acts in hopes of maintaining control and profits from Free City. Here are some key points where we see Antwan embrace his villainous side:

Framing Millie:

  • When Millie gets close to obtaining the source code to prove plagiarism, Antwan plants a gun in her office to frame her for a crime and derail her progress.

Trying to Buy Off Keys:

  • Antwan attempts to pay off Millie‘s former partner Keys with a $10 million bribe if he backs up Antwan‘s story that Free City was his original work.

Sending Virtual Hitmen:

  • Antwan hires high-level players to enter Free City with orders to hunt down Guy—going so far as to pay real money for virtual murder.

Shutting Down Free City Entirely:

  • As a last resort, Antwan makes the decision to simply shut down Free City for good, destroying the world and lives of all NPCs.

Real-World Violence:

  • In the climax, Antwan waits for Guy outside Soonami Studios with a gun, proving his villainy extends to the real world as well.

At every turn, Antwan chooses the most unscrupulous path to protect himself and his power. His complete disregard for ethics and lives establishes him as the main villain.

Contrasting Antwan and Guy

Another way to get insight into Antwan‘s villainy is by contrasting his motives and behavior with Guy‘s heroism:

Main GoalProtect his power/profitsSave Free City
Views Others AsExpendable/toolsAll life has value
UsesManipulation, lies, violenceTruth, compassion, sacrifice
ArcCorrupted by greedGains humanity

Whereas Antwan only values money and control, Guy fights for justice out of an innate respect for the lives of NPCs. This contrast between corruption vs. purity highlights Antwan‘s moral bankruptcy.

Antwan‘s Villainous Motivations

Of course, what really drives someone to become a villain? Here are some of Antwan‘s likely motivations based on his characterization:

  • Greed – His hunger for wealth and status blinds him to ethics or consequences. Owning Free City brings fortune and fame.

  • Winning – Antwan has a competitive, egotistical nature. The idea of "losing" to Millie is unacceptable to him.

  • Control – He desires god-like power over Free City. NPCs gaining free will threatens his position as master.

  • Pride – Admitting that Millie actually created the key code would shatter Antwan‘s inflated ego and superiority complex.

  • Fear – On a basic level, he fears going to jail or losing his empire if caught. This motivates his crimes.

Together, these motivations lead to Antwan‘s corruption and build his deluded rationale that he‘s in the right.

Taika Waititi‘s Portrayal

A huge part of why Antwan succeeds as a villain is thanks to Taika Waititi‘s (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) performance. Here are some of the key ways Waititi brings Antwan to life:

  • Arrogance – Waititi gives Antwan an entitled, superior demeanor and loud confidence.

  • Menace – While often amusing, Waititi can shift Antwan into frightening territory when confronting Guy.

  • Charisma – Despite being unlikable, Waititi gives Antwan a magnetic energy befitting an industry titan.

  • Reactions – Waititi expresses Antwan‘s frustration and unraveling control through angry outbursts and manic energy.

  • Comedic Flair – Even as a villain, Waititi makes Antwan funny at times in his obliviousness and inflated self-image.

Thanks to Waititi‘s performance, Antwan emerges as a dangerous yet laughable villain. The role deservedly earned Waititi a Best Villain nomination at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

Supporting Cast of Villains

In his schemes, Antwan draws upon various supporting characters who enable and carry out his unethical plans:

Keys – Millie‘s former partner who helped build Life Itself but took a lucrative buyout from Antwan to remain silent.

Soonami Legal Team – Corporate lawyers who aggressively pursue lawsuits to overwhelm Millie‘s side.

Vera – Antwan‘s executive assistant who helps cover up his misdeeds until finally turning.

Dude – A player character Antwan hires to sadistically hunt Guy within Free City.

This network of accomplices fully buys into Antwan‘s corrupt worldview, illustrating the larger forces enabling powerful villains. But ultimately they too are expendable to Antwan.

Antwan‘s Character Arc

Looking at Antwan‘s evolution over Free Guy provides insight into key points of his villainous trajectory:

  1. Introduced as a successful, charming CEO
  2. Hints at his ruthlessness emerge
  3. Framing Millie cements him as the villain
  4. His attempts to destroy Guy grow increasingly unhinged
  5. Desperate and volatile as his schemes collapse
  6. Confronted by Guy, he‘s forced to concede defeat
  7. Loses everything when truth comes out

This arc follows a classic trajectory of a villain rising to power, overreaching, and eventually falling. Antwan personifies the saying, "pride comes before the fall."

Thematic Relevance

Antwan‘s evil agenda drives larger themes that Free Guy explores around ethics, technology, and society:

  • Serves as a warning about corporate greed overriding morals
  • Represents dangers of unchecked power and influence
  • Contrasts valuing profits above the rights of digital lifeforms
  • Symbol of how ego and hubris corrupt
  • Critiques willingness to exploit technology without concern for consequences

So Antwan acts as a vehicle for these meaningful, universal themes that elevate Free Guy beyond just light comedy.

Conclusion – The Villain We Love to Hate

In the end, while comical at times, Antwan represents very real threats around corporate malfeasance and questionable ethics in the tech world. Thanks to Taika Waititi‘s masterful performance and the script‘s depiction of Antwan‘s unraveling, this villain earns our contempt while keeping us invested and entertained.

For anyone looking to better understand Free Guy‘s antagonist, this deep dive into Antwan‘s villainy reveals what makes him tick and the crucial role he plays in the story. Next time you watch Free Guy, see if you catch even more subtle aspects of Antwan‘s corruption and downward spiral!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.