The Fall Guy 2024

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The Fall Guy 2024

Review of The Fall Guy

In The Fall Guy, Ryan Gosling emulates his inner Ken and creates an action-comedy variation of Barbie. This vibrant homage by former stunt coordinator and Brad Pitt’s stunt double David Leitch to the unappreciated members of his former troupe of performers who put their lives on the line for entertainment is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Just as he did in the Greta Gerwig film, Ryan Gosling finds a capable and knowledgeable partner in Emily Blunt, whose abundant natural appeal transforms the coupling into a wonderfully silly onscreen duet that propels the picture into a region where one ceases questioning the credibility of what is happening on screen.

David Leitch, who has directed films such as Atomic Blonde and Bullet Train, is intimately familiar with all things related to stunts. Teaming up with Drew Pearce (who co-wrote Leitch’s Hobbs & Shaw), he packs The Fall Guy with highly combustible action sequences set both in the movie’s real world and within the under-production film-within-a-film. A new movie being made in Sydney gives two exes — a stuntman and a debutante director — an opportunity to reunite and try to reignite their lost spark.

A joyous mash-up of action, thrills, comedy, romance and muscular sound design, The Fall Guy revolves around Ryan Gosling’s Colt Seavers — the name of the male lead character is borrowed from the 1980s ABC TV series (also called The Fall Guy) in which Lee Majors starred as a stuntman who doubles as a bounty hunter/crime-buster.

Ryan Gosling channels his inner Ken and creates an action-comedy version of his Barbie character in The Fall Guy, former stunt coordinator and Brad Pitt’s stunt double David Leitch’s lively tribute to the underappreciated members of his erstwhile tribe of performers who risk life and limb to liven up the movies. Like he did in the Greta Gerwig film, Ryan Gosling finds an able and clued-in ally in Emily Blunt, who exudes a whole lot of effortless charm to turn the pairing of the two stars into a delightfully goofy onscreen duet that drives the film into a zone where you stop doubting the plausibility of what is unfolding on the screen.

David Leitch, who has directed films like Atomic Blonde and Bullet Train, knows the world of stunts inside out. Working with a screenplay by Drew Pearce (who co-wrote Leitch’s Hobbs & Shaw), he packs The Fall Guy with highly combustible action sequences both in the film’s real world and in the under-production film-within-a-film. The new movie taking shape in Sydney gives two exes – a stuntman and a debuting director – to get back together and try and rekindle their lost spark.

An unabashedly gleeful blend of action, thrills, comedy, romance, and a robust sound design, The Fall Guy centers on Ryan Gosling’s Colt Seavers – the name of the male protagonist is borrowed from the 1980s ABC television series (also titled The Fall Guy) in which Lee Majors starred as a stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter and crime-buster.

He is Tom Ryder’s (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) unprofessional double. Colt works for this narcissistic action superstar who misbehaves.

The entire world sees him as a man who does his own stunts. Tom does not credit Colt for his work.

In the opening chase scene, everything goes terribly wrong. Colt ends up in the hospital with a broken back which ruins his career and destroys his newfound relationship with Jody Moreno (Blunt), a camera operator. His dream of going to a beach with Jody to drink spicy margaritas and “make bad decisions” dies fast.

Eighteen months later, Colt is still trying to get himself together when he gets a call from Tom’s producer Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham, doing the lord’s work). She’s producing Jody’s directorial debut, sci-fi epic Metalstorm — tagline: “It’s High Noon at the edge of the universe” — and lies to Colt that it’s Jody who wants him back in the thick of things.

Colt arrives in Sydney for the shoot only to realize that Jody is still mad at him and uncomfortable with his presence on set. But under stunt coordinator and old friend Dan Tucker (Black Panther star Winston Duke), he executes an unprecedented eight-and-a-half (Daniel Leitch and Ryan Gosling definitely don’t have Fellini in mind here, or do they?) cannon rolls with a stunt car.

Colt and Dan are fast and furious with references to —- lines from? —- action flicks like Rocky and The Fast and the Furious: And when things calm down a bit for Colt and Jody between all the pyrotechnics and chases he gets caught up in both in reality on set, there come tangential nods to rom-coms such as Notting Hill, Love Actually, Pretty Woman …

To get back into story mode real quick: There is some criminal conspiracy surrounding Tom Ryder along with his current cronies —- a bunch of shady characters whose emergence poses a huge threat against Jody’s movie. Tom’s gone missing, Jody’s unaware of his absence and Gail tells Colt to find the lead actor before the studio pulls the plug.

“Do you want this to be her last film?” Gail asks Colt. It sends him into overdrive. From here on out, there is no stopping The Fall Guy. As a hero who takes it upon himself to save his girlfriend’s movie at all costs, he has to deal with such things as: gunmen out for blood; a sword-wielding actress; a dead body in a hotel room kept on ice; a gun that fires blanks; a trailer run amok through the streets of Sydney and an ammo dump that goes up in flames.

Things get messier by the minute, but Colt keeps rising to the occasion. And Ryan Gosling pours himself into making it all work —- he pulls it off with ease and panache. Yes, the plot may not exactly hold water and sure, there might be some romantic track along the way that demands a little suspension of disbelief, but it doesn’t matter: You’re swept away by pure Gosling alone.

The Fall Guy is a lot of fun. It never stops moving, constantly referencing films we’ve loved, and the leads have this adorable (sappy one minute, snippy the next) banter thing going on that’s just very charming. Plus there’s some wit to the romance. Leitch knows how to do star power + pulpy mayhem right.

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are surrounded by chaos — both good and bad guys — but none of them are as fierce or as French as Jean-Claude, their guard dog who only understands commands if they’re in French. But neither language nor genre tropes pose any difficulty here.

There’s something so universal and endearingly boyish about “The Fall Guy” that even though it’s essentially an insider-Hollywood story through and through, it plays like a fable anyone can understand; it feels like Hollywood finally telling stunt performers’ tale in simplest terms — those poor souls have been the butt of jokes for too long.

Even when “The Fall Guy” is arguing for better treatment of stuntmen, it doesn’t forget what it came to do: provide pure, nonstop thrills. And that it does — in spades.

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