Keith’s Movie Korner: ‘The Fall Guy’ sticks the landing

By Keith Walther | Rose Law Group Reporter

Action, romance, and comedy come together in a highly entertaining embrace that will leave audiences with a smile on their face. “The Fall Guy” is a remake of the 1981 movie of the same name, and it features the Oscar nominated acting talents of last year’s “Barbenheimer” record setting weekend as well as an accomplished director in the action genre. It’s an ode to love, an ode to action films, but most importantly an ode to stunt teams.

Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) is a stuntman extraordinaire, often doubling for Hollywood star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). In addition to performing death defying stunts, Colt sparks a whirlwind romance on the set of the new Ryder film with a camera operator/aspiring director Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt). Unfortunately, everything falls to pieces including his new romance when Colt suffers a seemingly career-ending injury from an on-set accident.

18 months later, Colt has recovered physically but not mentally and emotionally. When veteran producer Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham) begs him to come out of retirement to help with Jody’s first film as a director, he couldn’t refuse. Rekindling his career and romance are not his only objectives, since the star of the film, Tom Ryder, has gone missing and it’s up to Colt to find him. As he stumbles across a murder and a key piece of evidence, he quickly realizes he’s caught up in a high stakes game with homicidal thugs in pursuit, making it clear that a stunt gone wrong could easily end his life.

David Leitch is not only a successful action film director with films like “Atomic Blonde,” “Deadpool 2,” and “Bullet Train,” but he’s also a former stuntman/stunt coordinator himself. This experience makes him the perfect choice to helm “The Fall Guy,” and he doesn’t disappoint with thrillingly choreographed action sequences from start to finish. There may be a lot going on in this movie, but David’s motives are crystal clear, to honor and shine the spotlight on a profession that is often overlooked and hidden, the stuntman. He goes out of his way to make the audience aware of who these people are and to appreciate their integral contributions to the film industry.

While Leitch puts plenty of effort on the cinematography and choreography of the multitude of action scenes to create an adrenaline pumping blockbuster, he also incorporates a steady flow of laugh-out-loud comedy and a compelling love story. Combined with a head bobbing soundtrack featuring the ongoing theme song of “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” by Kiss, the film caters to a wide range of audiences, who will be joyously humming the tune long after the end credits roll.

Unfortunately, Leitch comes up short from achieving a truly spectacular filmgoing experience. The climax devolves into a contrived melee that is over the top, predictable, and downright silly. Despite the floppy ending, there are enough jaw-dropping stunts, cool references to classic action films, and some peel-back-the-curtain insights on the filmmaking process that movie fans will appreciate.

Having not one, but two Oscar nominated stars in the lead roles certainly helps the entertainment value of the movie. Ryan Gosling (“Barbie”) has pure, natural charisma with a relaxed approach to his mannerisms and line delivery that result in perfectly timed comedic moments without feeling forced. This is reminiscent of his performance in 2016’s “The Nice Guys.” Beyond the action/comedy side of his portrayal, he also adds depth to his character, showing this inner turmoil caused by the terrible injury that has crushed his confidence, making it difficult to put to words his true feelings.

His co-star Emily Blunt (“Oppenheimer”) develops believable chemistry with Gosling’s character with laughter inducing banter that feeds off each other extremely well. There’s a moment when Gosling reappears after an 18-month hiatus, in which her hurt and anger boils to the surface, creating one of the more memorable scenes in the film. Blunt will next be voicing a character in her husband’s (John Krasinski) new film, “IF,” coming out later this month.

“The Fall Guy” is a highly entertaining film that caters to most movie lovers and is absolutely worth a trip to the theater. Don’t forget to stay through the end credits. After the homage to the film’s stunt team, there’s a fun mid-credit scene with surprising cameos.

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May 2024