Friday, May 3, 2024

The Fall Guy

The biggest strength of The Fall Guy, loosely inspired by the 80s television show, is its stars. Ryan Gosling as stuntman Colt Seavers coming back from a failed stunt to work with his former girlfriend Jody (Emily Blunt) on her first big movie is the kind of wacky dumb fun you would expect. Once arriving in town, things don't go smoothly for Colt who is sent to find the film's missing star (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) by the producer (Hannah Waddingham) who dragged Colt out of retirement. This puts our stuntman in danger and also keeps him away from the woman he desperately wants to win back.

If the chemistry between the stars is The Fall Guy's greatest strength, the script by Drew Pearce is its biggest weakness. There's no reason for Colt to keep the truth about what he's up to from Jody (especially as it's her career on the line). And paring the two more over the course of the film would help the uneven highs and lows of the script that stumbles a bit between outrageous stunts.

That said, many of the stunt sequences are quite effective and the film does justice to highlighting the dangers stuntmen so willingly take on. There are some fun inside Hollywood jokes (many tied to the production of Jody's film Metalstorm), but the film ultimately lives and dies with Colt in over his head but adapting to the situation and putting his stunt skills to work in real-life dangerous situations along with the far too infrequent scenes where Blunt and Gosling share the screen.

At slightly over two hours, The Fall Guy is at least twenty minutes too long for a comedy and it doesn't help that the big reveal of a convoluted conspiracy behind the scenes is ultimately disappointing. A simpler story of the stunt man winning back the girl he lost, with a less convoluted script but still plenty of stunts, which could still include the search for a missing star, could have helped streamline the bloated, but still fun and mostly harmless, film.

  • Title: The Fall Guy
  • IMDb: link

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