NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Gerardo
We begin the movie with the Lonely Island Classics logo. A banner appears that says: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson.The opening scene shows a photo on a nightstand with the movie’s protagonist and his partner on the set of Ellen Degeneres. The protagonist wakes up to the sound of the alarm, gets out of bed, exercises, walks to work, finishes his workday, and ends up in a bar drinking alone, doing all these activities in solitude.
After leaving the bar, he walks towards a house but doesn’t reach the door. He leaves somewhat upset by the same path. As he walks home, a limousine follows him, the window rolls down, and it is revealed that actor Andy Samberg is playing himself. They greet each other, and Andy asks if his name is Thomas Walcott, to which he responds yes; then Andy tells him that’s perfect, he was looking for him. Andy asks Thomas (Jake Johnson) if he likes limousines, to which Thomas responds yes. Andy asks if he wants to get in, and after thinking about it, Thomas agrees. Once inside, Thomas confesses to Andy that he is a fan. Andy proposes something to Thomas, who agrees. Andy takes out a script and begins to read: “Congratulations, you have been selected.” He then reads personal information about Thomas, mentioning that he is single, childless, physically agile but not so young and that he broke up with his girlfriend.
Thomas interrupts Andy and asks him what he’s doing and why he’s reading his life. Andy explains that they have been tracking him to see if he is a good candidate. He offers Thomas the opportunity to leave the limousine and return to everyday life. Without knowing what he’s committing to, Thomas responds, “F*ck it.”
Andy warns Thomas about the decision he’s making, to which Thomas responds that his life is monotonous and boring, and this is the most exciting thing that has happened to him in a long time, so he doesn’t want to go back home.
Andy gives the signal, and they take Thomas to a warehouse with a red door. Thomas thinks Andy will participate, but Andy clarifies that he was only paid for that stretch and that the job is only for Thomas. Thomas decides to get out of the limousine, and they leave him there. Thomas slowly advances through the warehouse, following the arrows on the walls. He doesn’t see anyone until he reaches a part where two men sit at a table while classical music plays. They called him over and told him to sit down; they were waiting for him.
They hand him a red book with his name that says “participant.” With this book, they explain the rules to Thomas. Thomas is about to embark on a reality show broadcast on the Dark web. Apparently, he has 30 days to survive. If he completes the 30-day challenge without dying, he will win 1 million dollars. Everything will be filmed by a secret team that will follow his every move. His house is wired, and there are cameras everywhere. The hunters will look for him to kill him, and he may go 30 days without them knowing Tommy’s location, thus becoming the winner. As soon as he leaves there, they will start looking for him.
Tommy is processing all this information; he asks to get up from the chair and doesn’t know what to do. One of the men interrupts him and pressures him to accept. They convince him by telling him that the hunters can only hunt him when he is alone. This surprises him, and he says, “You just gave me a legal loophole. Does this mean that if I’m with someone all the time, they will not kill me?” They confirm that, yes, that’s correct. They guarantee that he will be safe if he is with someone and doesn’t separate too much from that person. With this assurance, he accepts.
Let the game begin.
Day 1: He decides to tell his family, and no one believes him. His brother-in-law, affectionately called Andy Samberg “The Sams,” believes that Thomas is crazy and made up this story for attention because his ex-girlfriend, with whom he was for a long time, broke up with him two years ago and now married and has a baby with someone else. Also, Thomas sends messages through Craigslist to see if other people are playing. After telling them the truth, his family leaves.
Day 2: He wakes up at 7 a.m. and does his exercise routine. He is noticeably paranoid. He doesn’t trust anyone and looks at people with suspicion.
Day 3: We see part of his routine. He keeps looking around constantly. Day 4: He continues his routine and is confident that nothing will happen.
Day 5: At night, he starts hearing noises in the house. He gets up to check and goes from room to room. Thomas finds a small camera, takes it, and examines it carefully. He calls his mother, a nurse, and tells her that someone is in the house watching him and that he has just found a small camera. His mother doesn’t believe him, thinks it could be mouse droppings, and that he’s taking the story too seriously with ninjas recording him and small cameras.
Thomas decides to go to the hospital because his mother doesn’t believe him. She dismisses him and tells him to call his sister. He convinces his brother-in-law to be with him and spend the night. They start fighting because he wants to sleep in the same bed. Malcolm (Daryl J. Johnson), the brother-in-law, refuses, but they end up sleeping together. The brother-in-law gets up early in the morning to go to the bathroom. Thomas sees a cowboy silhouette with a rifle following him through the house windows. Desperate due to Malcolm’s sense of abandonment, he breaks the bathroom door to show the cowboy that he is not alone. Malcolm doesn’t see anyone and gets upset, kicking him out of the house.
Thomas runs outside, where he finds a homeless man named James (Biff Wiff) and offers to pay him to always be with him, to be his shadow. James accepts.
Tommy explains the new rules to his family, including James, the next day. They are upset because he is a stranger. The sisters want their mother to kick him out of the house, but Tommy reminds them that wasn’t the deal: “As long as I have a job, I can stay in the house.”
Day 7: He goes out with James.
Day 9: Again, he goes out with James.
Day 12: They have become friends, sharing this much time. They go out to eat and go to work together. The boss realizes what he is doing and fires him from work, and his mom kicks him out of the house because he didn’t fulfill the deal.
That night, he goes to a club with his sister. James doesn’t answer, and while in line, someone from Craigslist sends him a message with the same situation. He decides to leave the line and calls the person. It’s a girl, Maddy (Anna Kendrick). They agreed to meet the next day at 10:30, and she will wear a banana jacket.
Here, Tommy is attacked because he is alone. According to Tommy, a very tall man dressed like Michael Jackson with the Thriller jacket, which another person in line corrects by saying it was the one from Beat It. Both are MJ fans. Tommy is glad to meet another MJ fan. In this attack, he is lucky and manages to free himself. His sister didn’t even wait for him.
The next day, he arrives at the meeting point and sees Maddy not wearing her banana jacket. Still, she has a yellow shirt and is with her mom, confirming that she is the one who spoke with Tommy. Tommy is 16 days in, and Maddy is 15. Tommy has suspicions but calms down when he hears Maddy is going through the same thing. Tommy wants to partner up with her so they can’t be attacked. They decide to try it for one day to see if it works.
At Maddy’s house, Tommy starts hearing noises and checks a door, but there is nothing. He finds another one of the mini cameras. Maddy was married, but she separated. Tommy was with this girl for 23 years. They broke up out of nowhere without explanation, and he has gone to her house almost to knock on the door looking for answers. Still, he never actually has the courage to knock.
Maddy tells Tommy that today they will knock on her ex’s door, Theresa, so she can confirm that his intentions are good and thus know more about his past, as they want to be together for the next 15 days.
Tommy arrives at his ex’s house, Theresa’s, and talks to her at the entrance. They want to know why they broke up. They talk about Ellen and the end of her TV show, which was part of their relationship. Theresa explains that the breakup was because she wanted to live life and felt that she wasn’t doing it with Tommy. She realized he was stuck in a monotonous routine, going to the same places, and she felt trapped.
The conversation is interrupted when Theresa sees James, who introduces himself. They keep talking, and Theresa tells Tommy that he has to live life and get out of the monotonous routine. Maddy intervenes, defending Tommy and later apologizing for pushing him to do this. Maddy and Tommy continue talking, and Maddy convinces herself she can spend the days with Tommy. They go out for a drink, and Maddy reveals the truth about her father: he didn’t die; he just separated from her mother, which has caused problems in her future relationships. Tommy shares that his father disappeared one day while playing video games and never returned.
They sleep at Maddy’s house, where she lives with her mother. The mother puts a pillow between them to prevent them from getting “frisky.”
Day 15: The production assistant warns Tommy that he’s not sure they should stay here and must move.
We see the “ninja” team that appears in the house, hidden. The production assistant advises Tommy to be careful, as the hunters are closer than he thinks. Tommy tells Maddy what he hears, and they rent a motel. On the motel balcony, Tommy asks Maddy why she decided to join the game, and she replies that she was bored at home.
Tommy and Maddy have an encounter at the motel with the maintenance staff, who are clearly part of the hunters. They ask Mario to leave, saying that they are together. Upon this, Tommy wants to leave, worried for his safety. Still, Maddy assures him that nothing will happen to him if they are together.
Days 16 and 17: They share time together at the motel. Day 18: They share more and more, seeming like a couple. Day 19: Another person sends a message through Craigslist. Tommy is excited to meet the person, but Maddy doesn’t want to add more people to the group and ruin what they have. Tommy feels like he wants to help her, as this person might be alone and in danger like he was at the beginning.
Tommy and Maddy arrive at the same restaurant where the person is waiting for them. Here, we learn that the show’s producers choose people who are at a low point in their lives and document their participation in the show. The program is a comedy, and the hunters dress according to the stories of the people in the game, in the style of “Let’s Make a Deal.” It comically fits with the show, which apparently is a comedy. The program’s name is “DOG” (Delusions of Grandeur). This person leaves with his father, who starts the game on day 1.
Maddy has an emotional breakdown and decides to go home alone. She needs time to process the information. She tells Tommy that she wants to separate, as she has done in previous relationships when she feels cornered, leaving everything behind no matter the damage it causes to the other person. She leaves the place and leaves Tommy… James was there.
Day 22: Tommy has an emotional breakdown at his mother’s house. He says he’s going to kill everyone, including Andy Samberg. That night, the production assistant tells him to get up and that there is a limousine waiting for him outside. Very carefully, he gets in.
Inside the limousine is his father. He now lives in Cleveland and is sober. After an encounter with Wayne Brady, he took a private plane to meet his son. His father wants to talk to him and connect, but Tommy can’t process the information after so many years without him. Despite not being ready, he listens to his father. His father tells him that Maddy is safe and advises him not to ruin something good and not to be like him. Tommy tells him from the heart that he loves him, and they say goodbye.
Day 26: Tommy goes to Maddy’s house. She hugs him, confesses that she wasn’t playing the game, and she lied to him, seeking adrenaline. She thought the game was a role-playing game and wanted to give a twist to her boring life. She apologizes, and Tommy accepts the apology.
At that moment, Tommy receives a message that his mother is in danger. He tells James to run because he must help his mother. As he runs, he separates from James and meets a hunter disguised as Ellen DeGeneres, who hits a tooth and knocks him to the ground. At that moment, A neighbor and James appear, and the hunter disappears.
He arrives at his mother’s house to find an intervention. His family is trying to take care of his mental health. He tells them about the encounter with his father the night before, but they don’t believe him.James and Tommy end up on the street and spend the night talking. James reveals to Tommy that his real name is Walter, but he never corrects it. Tommy promises that when everything is over, he will buy Walter his house or apartment as a thank-you. Walter advises Tommy not to give up, as he knows how the game is played.
Day 27: Tommy wakes up on the street, but Walter has disappeared. He looks for him throughout the area but doesn’t find him.
Day 28: He sleeps under a bridge. Day 29: He continues looking for Walter on the streets. Day 30: The production assistant returns and gives him instructions to reach the end of the game. He must find the limousine and get in to access the end.
The show’s audience got bored seeing Tommy looking for Walter and sleeping from day 28, so they decided to make the game harder for him. The limousine will be waiting for him somewhere, and Walter is safe in a hotel waiting to see if he wins or loses the game. Once it’s known, they will let him go.
After talking with them, Tommy decides to follow a woman to a bus stop, where he meets the man with the cowboy hat, who explains that the game is made for him.
Tommy is scared, joins a group, and starts looking for the limousine. Suddenly, a car chases him, and his only way out is to jump over a fence. To his surprise, the limousine is parked there. He gets in and finds Andy Samberg waiting for him. Andy offers him the option to go back home and forget everything or continue to the end of the game.
Tommy decides to finish what he started and is taken to a garage with a red door. From the corners come a sumo wrestler and Sinbad. Tommy reacts, opens the door, and runs out. Inside the garage, a samurai joins the group. Tommy keeps running until he reaches the last room, which is empty. He starts shouting that he has won!
Tommy proclaims that he has won, surpassing his ex, closing that chapter, and managing to talk and connect with his father. However, a deep silence follows his words. Suddenly, the lights come on, and a door opens, revealing the entire production team, actors, and hunters, who congratulate him. They give him a briefcase with money. Everyone is happy for his victory.
The next day, he visits his family and thanks them for nothing. Regarding his prize, he will receive $4,000 per month for 250 months, and the final transaction of the million is in Greenlandic currency converted to USD. To give validity to the whole story, Wayne Brady is with him.
Tommy says goodbye to his family and goes to see Maddy. On the way, he talks to Walter, who tells him that the game is over but that they have gotten used to being together. Both are well-dressed and live together.
Upon arriving at Maddy’s house, he reflects on knocking on the door. Unlike in the past, he does it this time, and with this, the movie ends.