The Fall Guy Review: Gosling’s Kenergy Fuels Action-Comedy Bonanza

As The Fall Guy kicks off, director David Leitch, once a stuntman and Brad Pitt’s body double, along with lead actor Ryan Gosling, direct the audience to silence their cell phones and elucidate the film’s purpose. It’s a heartfelt homage to stunt performers, highlighting their resilience in absorbing hits without recognition. While this upfront approach might seem jarring, puncturing the fourth wall, the film continues to play with this boundary throughout, injecting moments of self-aware commentary that, while entertaining, occasionally disrupt the immersion. How then, does one maintain engagement?

Enter Ryan Gosling, drawing on the infectious energy he honed in Barbie (2023) to craft an endearingly charismatic protagonist. In this adaptation of the Eighties TV series, Gosling portrays Colt Seavers, a stunt double for the flashy action star Tom Ryder (played with campy flair by Aaron Taylor Johnson). Initially entangled in a secret romance with Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), a camera operator aspiring to direct, Colt’s life takes a turn after a near-fatal stunt. The narrative unfolds eighteen months later as Colt returns to the film industry, now working under Jody’s direction in a production titled Metalstorm, a playful blend of sci-fi and romance.

The charm of The Fall Guy lies in its light-hearted comedy, featuring recurring gags such as Colt’s perpetually interrupted coffee breaks and a dog trained solely in French commands. Gosling shines as Colt navigates between action-packed heroics and moments of vulnerability with wit and aplomb. The script cleverly subverts Hollywood clichés, even incorporating a nod to Taylor Swift fans with an emotionally charged scene set to her music.

Gosling and Blunt’s chemistry extends beyond the screen, evident in their playful banter at the Oscars. However, the romance depicted in The Fall Guy leans more towards endearing awkwardness than fiery passion, a dynamic that feels authentic and relatable. Blunt delivers a captivating performance as Jody, a first-time director, grappling with creative vision amidst industry pressures. Yet, her character’s development feels somewhat delayed, with a pivotal moment of empowerment saved for the film’s latter half.

As the narrative progresses, parallels emerge between Jody’s struggle to craft an authentic ending for her film and the film itself grappling with its conclusion. The meta-commentary, while initially engaging, becomes repetitive, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. Despite paying homage to action classics, The Fall Guy’s action sequences lack the distinctiveness that would elevate them to greatness. The climax, set amidst the grandeur of Metalstorm’s desert set, offers a refreshing departure as Jody showcases her prowess in a surprise combat scene, reminiscent of her previous action-packed roles.

In essence, The Fall Guy is a testament to the filmmakers’ reverence for the action genre, yet it occasionally falters in delivering truly memorable moments amidst its playful meta-narrative.


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