Review: The Fall Guy

A fun romantic action comedy that deserves more attention.

Stuntman Colt Seavers finds himself back to work after a year long break. He’s hired to work on a science fiction film, but in actuality, he has to save the movie’s production by finding its AWOL lead star. Adding to the complications, the film’s director is the girl he is in love with, but who didn’t appreciate his mysterious year absence.

Directed by David Leitch (Bullet Train, Deadpool 2) and starring the ever popular Ryan Gosling (Barbie) and Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) The Fall Guy is a very, very loose adaptation of a 1980s TV show of the same name. Where that show was about a stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter, this film is more about a stuntman coerced into an adventure looking for a missing film star. Overall though, the film is a delight. Harkening back to classic romantic action comedies not often seen.

Ryan Gosling brings all of the energetic charm and slapstick comedy he presented in 2016’s The Nice Guys, as Colt Seavers, a level-headed, excellent, but perhaps not an emotionally-present stuntman in blockbuster movies. He is primarily known to be a double for Tom Ryder, a massive movie star with an even bigger ego. Emily Blunt is Jody Moreno, a budding director who has fallen in and out for Colt’s charms after he disappears for a year after an accident.

Now Jody is directing her own film, Metalstorm, and its producer hires Colt back specifically to fill in for a strangely missing Tom Ryder. What follows is an adventure of hijinks, car chases, murder, dogs, and explosions.

At knife point, Gosling confirmed to being just Ken.

Director David Leitch brings his now familiar style of bright visuals and very capable action design here, as seen in Bullet Train and Atomic Blonde. Regardless of your option of these films, it can be said that the action is excellent. Trained also as a stuntman, it is very clear that Leitch is bringing a lot of his own Hollywood experience and history into this movie. The film shows a lot of the behind-the-scenes work of movie stunt teams, and shows them in a genuinely affectionate light. Everyone on set look like they are enjoying themselves and there is a good sense of camaraderie, which clearly only adds to Leitch’s passion for the craft and the unsung heroes of movies.

Adding to this is Ryan Gosling’s dedication to committing to several stunts himself. Of course, he does have a lot of stunt doubles as well. But the film’s end credits feature a lot of behind-the-scenes footage of the stunts taking place.
In this age of digital movie-making, it is refreshing to see an action movie not only pay homage to the real groundwork involved, but also be that kinetic and real with its own production.

Gosling holds on for dear life.

It is a pretty funny movie too. Ryan Gosling of course tears up the scenes that he is in. Emily Blunt makes for an excellent pairing with him, and supporting casts of Winston Duke, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Hannah Waddingham, are all excellent in their roles.

It isn’t a perfect movie. Leitch’s Bullet Train was stylish and unique, whereas The Fall Guy was simple and solid. There’s a few misgivings in terms of writing and pacing, some weird plot conveniences, and a scene which was edited oddly enough to allow Gosling to teleport across the room. But if you are looking for a piece of light entertainment with great action scenes, fun personalities (that aren’t Marvel-like) then you can’t go wrong here. Plus, it is a little testimony to film-making, which is always a plus.

4 out of 5 stars

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