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‘The Fall Guy’ – Review

‘The Fall Guy’ – Review


We’re currently in a new golden age of action cinema thanks to a mad group of maverick stuntmen turned filmmakers at 87North, and their rambunctious energy and thrill to entertain has led to The Fall Guy, a blockbuster that’s big on action, laughs and romance and that makes for the perfect cocktail of cinematic fun that audiences have been waiting for.

Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling), a battered and past-his-prime action choreographer, finds himself working on a film set with Tom Ryder, a famous actor for whom he had doubled long ago. When Tom goes missing and the film, which is being directed by Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), Colt’s ex-girlfriend in her directing debut, is in danger of being shut down, Colt volunteers to find Tom and save Jody’s debut film.

When it comes to the action game, stunt man turned filmmaker David Leitch has been right at the forefront of the changing of the guard and has brought a new energy, pace and creativity to a genre that in the mid-2010s was becoming stale. With work on projects such as John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Hobbs & Shaw, Leitch took his considerable experience and helped push the genre into an entirely new direction. The Fall Guy is his most ambitious and personal project to date, resurrecting the classic television series for a whole new generation. Giving it a fresh direction for a brand new audience, Leitch makes a film that is a throwback to those classic action pictures of the late 1970s/early 1980s. With a solid mix of action, romance and comedy, there’s a terrific retro feeling to The Fall Guy, and there’s a certain Smokey and the Bandit/Every Which Way but Loose quality to the picture that only adds to the fun. Leitch makes this a true blockbuster experience in every sense of the word.

Ryan Gosling is the reigning king of pop culture blockbuster cool at the moment, and he gets to bring in his own Clint Eastwood-macho style as the aptly named Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy. And boy, does he have a blast. As a past prime stuntman who has earned the name of ‘The Fall Guy’ due to a tragic accident, Gosling’s Seavers starts out as a down-and-out loser who heeds the call to adventure and gets the chance to be the hero again! Gosling rolls with the punches, and his complete physical performance, sharp wit, and smouldering presence lead him to drive fast cars, fight the bad guys, kiss the girl, save the day, and the movie, that the love of his life is making. Gosling also gets put through the wringer thanks to 87North, and he puts himself on the line to deliver big on the action set pieces, and it’s a damn blast!

Paired next to Gosling’s Colt Seavers is Emily Blunt as Jody Moreno, Colt’s ex-girlfriend and a camera operator turned first-time director, and her presence brings a wicked love story to the big screen that audiences will holler for. Blunt’s Jody holds all the cards, and after Colt’s literal ‘fall from grace,’ she’s left reeling for a life and a love that could have been, and this adds a dose of tension that leads to one of the film’s most memorable ‘relationship’ sequences in the picture. Like Gosling, Blunt is just having a fun time with the film and takes inspiration from the life of Kelly McCormick, Leitch’s real-life wife and producer, and her performance carries a Ginger Rogers quality to it that produces plenty of spark in this throwback to the classic rom-com.

The Fall Guy also has some key support players, and they bring their A-game. Winston Duke is Seavers’ best friend and stunt coordinator, Dan Tucker, who is the facilitator not only for a certain reunion, but when the bullets start flying, he takes it up a notch, and under his watch, things get explosive. Aaron Taylor-Johnson gives a scene-stealing performance as Tom Ryder, a world-famous action star and complete a**hole diva who’s as smart as a box of rocks and who pulls Colt into a whole heap of trouble. Finally, the always fantastic and spontaneous Hannah Waddingham is superb as Gail Meyer, Jody’s executive producer, and with her big hair, power suits, and reliance on Diet Coke, she makes for a character who completely goes from A to Z through the course of the picture.

The Fall Guy is an action film that goes to the MAX, and you can forget about the CGI here because this is Leitch and his team at 87North going all the way with the action. And it’s a rush! Car chases, glass falls, fist fights, helicopter dives, and some damn big explosions are all present and practical, and your adrenaline will spike with this picture. Leitch has followed a proud tradition of stunt performers like Hal Needham and Terry Leonard, and his passion for his craft speaks through in the bombastic, over-the-top cool that is on display in this picture. But it’s not just action that’s driving The Fall Guy; this is a film that honours the stuntmen, stuntwomen and other crew on set who help to bring about the movie magic that dazzles us all. It’s a touching tribute to those behind the scenes, and this only adds to the joy of the whole experience.

The Fall Guy has everything audiences are looking for in a movie: action, romance, Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, LOLs, KISS, unicorns, and a dog called Jean Claude. So grab yourself a spicy margarita and get ready for a total hit of blockbuster fun because The Fall Guy is a cinematic experience that gets the thumbs up!

Image: Universal Pictures