The Fall Guy is an action-packed rom com delight

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
REIGNITED: Estranged paramours—Hollywood stuntman Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) and budding director Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt)—are reunited and discover their flame still burns bright, in the action comedy, The Fall Guy, screening in local theaters.

Former stuntman-turned-director David Leitch (Bullet Train, Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde) helms this action comedy loosely based on Lee Majors TV series of the same name (1981-1986), about Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling), a Hollywood stuntman who’s drawn into a complicated conspiracy involving his ex-girlfriend, Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), a former camerawoman shooting her directorial debut in Sydney, Australia. (104 min.)

Glen: Before the film began, the theater rolled a brief tape of David Leitch and Ryan Gosling thanking audiences for coming to the cinema and explaining that their new film is a “love letter” to stuntmen, the unsung and usually unrecognized daredevils who make an action film come alive. A lot of films these days rely on CGI to create gravity-defying stunts, but this film is about good old-fashioned stunt performers taking the hits, the falls, the punches, and the flames. Colt Seavers is an old-school stuntman, the guy who makes action star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) look good. The story brings viewers into this largely unseen world where we get to see how the effects are created. Ryder is an egotistical and vindictive prick, and Colt is badly injured redoing a stunt because Ryder thinks the first take showed too much of Colt’s face. It’s the set-up for the rest of this implausible but highly entertaining love story about how after an 18-month absence, Colt and Jody rekindle their romance. Gosling and Blunt are both incredibly likeable with some believable chemistry between them. The film’s a hoot from beginning to end.

Anna: This film does one of my favorite things—it has a running gag poking fun at itself. There’s all this buildup to the third act, which coincides with Jody’s inability to resolve the third act of her space cowboy love story directorial debut. Blunt and Gosling each have the uncanny ability to be both ridiculously gorgeous and funny, so getting these two onscreen together is a total treat. After Colt’s accident, he shut Jody out, but when producer Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham in an increasingly chaotic brunette wig) calls him up and insists that Jody is asking for him on her first film, Colt can’t help but hop on a plane to Sydney. It soon becomes clear that Jody had no intention to see Colt again and that Gail’s motives aren’t to reunite two star-crossed lovers. Jody is still reeling from Colt’s disappearance from her life, and no new project or new haircut is going to erase the painful memory—so she’s going to make Colt work for her attention. Watching Blunt as Jody torture Colt time and time again proves entertaining, and Colt seems willing to take the punches if it means getting his girl back. This film is pure popcorn fun!

Glen: The story eventually becomes completely inane, but by then I no longer cared. I just wanted Colt to win back Jody, and I wanted the myriad villains to get their comeuppance. This is a film that’s better on the big screen, so don’t wait for streaming. Get thee to the theater. This is pure cinematic joy on par with Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Anna: Yep, this is one that’s meant to be enjoyed, not analyzed. If this is what summer movies of 2024 are shaping up to be, I’m here for it! Go enjoy the glitz of Hollywood and the action packed, stunt filled flick that gives us all permission to laugh at the over-the-top silliness of it all. I loved it!

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Comment at [email protected].

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