The Reel Review

B+

A year and an half after a serious accident derailed both his career and his romance with a camerawoman, a stuntman joins a blockbuster movie project so that he can reunite with her in her directorial debut. But once on set, he finds himself tasked with locating the missing star of the film, solving a deadly conspiracy and winning back the love of his life, all while doing his day job. Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt star in this screwball action/comedy loosely based on the popular 1980s TV series, The Fall Guy.

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt in The Fall Guy

Co-writer/director and former stuntman David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) has assembled a thoroughly entertaining love letter to the stunt industry, with a quippy script, a zippy story, two VERY charismatic and funny leads and a literal boatload of eye-popping stunts. Gosling and Blunt have great onscreen chemistry, which alongside some cleverly cheeky camerawork, helps sell the intentionally ridiculous and silly story. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who also worked with Leitch on Bullet Train, and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) also keep the laughs coming as the self-absorbed, dim-witted superstar and his Diet Coke-addicted producer, with Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Teresa Palmer (Lights Out) as our superstar’s respective personal assistant and sword-wielding actress/girlfriend.

Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy

Leitch jams so much story and so many stunts into his movie that it is at times exhausting. But the jokey swipes at The Academy for not rewarding their craft, the send-up of ridiculously phony celebrities and a more serious jab at AI, combined with a fun soundtrack and humor, keeps the predictable story breezy and light. Stick around for the end credits to see how all the stunts were done as well as a fun mid-credits scene.

REEL FACTS

Lee Majors and Heather Thomas in a 1983 episode of The Fall Guy

• In the original TV series, Lee Majors starred as Colt Seavers, a stuntman who also moonlighted as a bounty hunter, with Heather Thomas as his sidekick Jody.

• Gosling won the role on a project that was in development for more than 14 years, with Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves, Nicholas Cage, Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson all considered at some point.

• The 8.5 car roll stunt that happens in The Fall Guy IS an actual film record.

 

 

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