Photo Credit: Universal Pictures (via YouTube)

The Fall Guy Review: A Stunt-Filled Spectacular

The early May theatrical slot has historically gone to new installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But with only one new MCU movie releasing this year, Hollywood needed a replacement. And what better than an action comedy movie starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, the two supporting actors of last year’s Barbenheimer double feature? Have no fear, The Fall Guy is here to give you the excitement, laughs, and all the joy you could ever want from a theatrical experience. This is one hell of a good time, and you can’t miss it.

The film comes to us from director David Leitch, who previously made his mark in Hollywood as Brad Pitt’s stunt double before co-directing the original John Wick and establishing a name for himself on films like Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Hobbs & Shaw, and most recently, Bullet Train. He’s one of the most reliable action directors working in Hollywood, and his background in stunts made him the perfect choice to bring this movie to life. The Fall Guy follows washed-up stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling), working on a movie directed by his ex-girlfriend Jody Moreno (Blunt), when he must track down the missing star of the movie, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

The opening sequence is all in one take, and it expertly showcases the controlled chaos of working on a movie set. We have the assistant director trying to keep everything on schedule, the producer worrying about the budget and fighting to keep the movie running, and the stressed-out director wearing twelve different hats. From there, we get a quick sense of the crazy stunts that professionals do on sets. After a stunt goes wrong, Colt is left alone, recovering and having lost his relationship with Jody.

But after Dan (Winston Duke) brings Colt onto Jody’s set for her directorial debut feature, the producer Gail (Hannah Waddingham) sends Colt on a task to find the missing star of the movie. From there, we have our film. It’s the most entertaining blockbuster of the year featuring two of the best movie stars working today. Leitch not only directs the action very well, but he does a great job with the chemistry. Colt and Jody have a tumultuous past, and they are still working through a few things by the time the main events start. They work through their issues in a hilarious fashion.

Leitch is also excellent at throwing in visual gags to make each scene pop just a little more than it should. One particular scene involving unicorns is splendidly funny. With dynamite chemistry between our A-list actors, Leitch taps into something truly special. Between the romance and the well-crafted, exciting action set pieces, The Fall Guy gets two thumbs up for sheer entertainment value. It deserves a few extra points for an action scene that teams up Colt with an adorable dog.

Ryan Gosling is an actor that you’ll always love watching in a movie. It’s a role that seems more tailor-made for Leitch’s other Canadian collaborator named Ryan but of the Reynolds variety. But last year’s Barbie movie showed us again that Gosling is a supremely talented comedic actor. His take on Colt Seavers is another performance where we see how sublime his comedic timing is. He’s hilarious in this film, and Blunt plays off of him very well. Gosling is no stranger to playing stuntmen, having previously played one in Drive. However, if you wanted to compare his performance to his other work, this would be the perfect marriage of his roles in The Nice Guys and The Grey Man.

It’s a great concept to have a stuntman being forced to go on a real adventure where they have to use their stunt training to survive against actual bad guys. The screenplay from Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3, Hobbs & Shaw) takes very loose inspiration from the 1980s TV show that the film is based on, but it feels fresh and exciting in its own right. And with Leitch’s experience in stunts, his dedication to practical stunts and special effects work well. This is a love letter to Hollywood stunt teams and the magic of making movies.

Duke plays a fun supporting character who serves as Colt’s best friend. Taylor-Johnson and Waddingham give strong performances as well, and Oscar-nominated Stephanie Hsu appears in the movie. She doesn’t appear in the movie for a long time, but she leaves a strong impression. The Fall Guy can occasionally feel a bit self-indulgent with its clips from other Leitch movies and a few prominent logos of Leitch’s own production company 87Eleven. However, it uses a Taylor Swift song to its maximum ability, and it really works as a date movie. It’s got action, romance, laughs, and movie stars. It gave me what I wanted from a big, dumb, enjoyable action film.

SCORE: 8/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds at its goal and leaves a memorable impact.

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