The Fall Guy Review

The Fall Guy
Stuntman Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) comes out of retirement when the star of a film — directed by his ex-girlfriend Jody (Emily Blunt) — goes missing.

by Kelechi Ehenulo |
Published on
Release Date:

03 May 2024

Original Title:

The Fall Guy

How do we live in a time where the Academy still hasn’t recognised Hollywood’s stunt community with an Oscar category? When films such as John Wick: Chapter 4 or Mad Max: Fury Road have pushed the boundaries of stunt excellence, it seems mystifying. Thankfully, David Leitch’s romcom/action blockbuster The Fall Guy — based on the 1980s TV series starring Lee Majors — is an apt reminder for its necessary inclusion. And it makes the case while having a lot of fun along the way.

The Fall Guy

Leitch, a former stunt performer, presents this as a movie-lover’s dream. It follows in the same self-referential footsteps as Bowfinger, Tropic Thunder and Babylon, a behind-the-scenes depiction of a Hollywood poking fun at itself. Almost every scene comes brilliantly infused with a tongue-in-cheek, meta in-joke about the filmmaking process. But you still feel a sense of warmth and affection in every frame. Each stunt sequence — be it a high-risk jump from a helicopter, an elaborate fight scene in a neon-lit nightclub, or a pyrotechnic car chase across a beach — is a death-defying tribute to the men and women behind the craft.

The real fun comes thanks to the dynamite pairing of Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt.

Ripping a page out of the Nice Guys playbook, its mystery-noir plot features an egocentric superstar in Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, brilliant), a dodgy producer in Gail Meyer (a scene-stealing Hannah Waddingham) and a movie within a movie called ‘Metalstorm’ (think Mad Max meets Cowboys & Aliens). What follows is an action-packed rabbit-hole of calamitous events, including hallucinatory unicorns after a spiked drink, and a will-they-won’t-they relationship, references to Notting Hill included. The script will hardly win awards for originality, but even in moments where the lightweight plot seems stretched beyond capacity, there are more than enough jokes and needle-drops to hold your interest.

The real fun of The Fall Guy comes thanks to the dynamite pairing of Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. Gosling, still riding high off his Kenergy, has by now mastered the art of playing the loveable rogue. Every mischievous smile and whip-smart comeback showcases why he’s at the top of his game. Blunt — no stranger to stunt-work herself — equally delights, with a nice line in deadpan delivery. Want to see her hilariously roast Gosling, almost literally, as he is forced to repeat the same fireball stunt again and again? She’s got you covered. Leitch plays to their strengths, and paired together, the duo summon some old-fashioned, feel-good romantic charm: in other words, a proper summer movie.

With some incredible stunts and Gosling and Blunt on top form, this gloriously entertaining comedy is a love-letter to the unsung heroes of cinema.
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