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THE FALL GUY

I Universal Pictures Canada I May 3, 2024 I 125 Mins. I

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86 %

* As of 4/30/24

Starring:  Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Winston Duke, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Hannah Waddingham  

Directed By: David Leitch

Stuntman Colt Seaver (Ryan Gosling) gets work on a film his ex-girlfriend Jody (Emily Blunt) is directing because he's been hired to find out what happened to missing movie stars Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). He also hopes to win back Jody's affections.

REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus

RATING 4.5 out of 5

The Fall Guy lets off an explosive movie going experience full of breathtaking action sequences and the sensational pairing of Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, in David Leitch’s ode to the art of filmmaking and the unsung heroes of the stunt department that kicks off this year’s summer movie season with a bang!

 

This past summer, both Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt took movie audiences by storm in the two biggest films of last year, Oppenheimer and Barbie respectively, and they are now joining forces for David Leitch’s latest action flick. Starting off his career as a stuntman himself, Leitch has directed action films such as Atomic Blonde and Bullet Train in recent years, each time showcasing his singular talent for heart-pounding action sequences that emphasize stunt work and practical effects. But he takes his directing abilities to the next level with his big screen adaptation of the Lee Majors 1980s television series, serving up not only his best directorial effort to date, but a film that is going to take audiences by storm.

 

What The Fall Guy does so best is to showcase the talents and too often neglected movie magic created by the stunts department. Coming from Leitch, a former stuntman himself, it comes as no surprise that the entire film is a tribute to the skills and expertise of the stunt department. Every action sequence features incredible precision to create one adrenaline fueled and exciting set piece after another, marking some of the best action sequences. The hand to hand combat is kinetic, the stunt driving is flawless, including one outstanding car chase combined with an outstanding karaoke moment that is destined to be one of my favourite scenes of the entire year; and it all comes together with minimal CGI. From a story perspective, the deeds of the stunt department are woven beautifully into the narrative, that when stitched together with the overall love of filmmaking that is at the forefront of The Fall Guy (which as someone who has worked on many sets himself, perfectly captures the creative and crazy energy of the industry), makes for one outstanding love letter to movie production that cinephiles are going to instantly fall in love with. Whether it be the constant quoting of famous movie lines of famous movies by Gosling’s Colt, slight nods to famous films such as Hannah Waddinghanm’s wig and glasses calling back to Jamie Lee Curtis’s character in True Lies, or that hilarious split scene sequence that is going to have romantic comedy fans going mad, the entire film wears its love of cinema earnestly on its sleeve. It’s bombastic yet passionate filmmaking in every sense of the word, letting Leitch unleash his talents as both a director and stuntman to create one exhilarating blockbuster event that lights the fuse on the summer movie season.

 

Helping bolster every second of the film are the lead performances of Gosling and Blunt. On their own, they are two undeniable movie stars who give excellent performances, but the pairing of them lights the entire film on fire. The romantic chemistry between the two of them is off the charts, instantly sizzling from the second the camera has them in the same frame. There is an easy, playful and passionate banter between them that leads to some great comedic moments, followed by moments of deep connection and undeniable swoon-worthy romance that delivers one of the best romantic pairings in Hollywood that calls back to some of the genre’s greats. All I can say is that this better not be the last time that Gosling and Blunt star together in a film. The talent does not stop there, but extends into the supporting cast. Waddingham is brilliant as Gail Meyer, the film’s producer, delivering killer comedic moment after moment that continues to solidify herself as one incredible talent; Aaron Taylor-Johnson is great as the cocky leading star Tom Ryder that captures the stereotypical egotistical, powerful, spoiled but talented actor; while Winston Duke, Teresa Palmer and Stephanie Hsu all have fun turns and get to flex their action talents, even if their roles are smaller. 

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While the action is impeccable, the film is not without its minor missteps. The screenplay at times is shaky, with a few moments of awkward dialogue and the odd joke that doesn’t land. It takes a while for the plot to come together and for the overall narrative to become clear, but as the story is straightforward enough and is filled with so many fun moments throughout, it’s easy to look past this and buckle up for one fun ride. The majority of the dialogue is great, resulting in wonderful comedic moments that will have theatres erupting into laughter, or sweet romantic moments that will tug on your heartstrings and cause the occasional tear to be shed. And it never lets you wait too long for the next action sequence, which always strives to outdo the previous one, ensuring that the film is never lacking in entertainment value. Plus, with such a great soundtrack featuring the likes of Taylor Swift, Kiss and one outstanding musical moment featuring the legendary Phil Collins, it's impossible for The Fall Guy to miss its mark.


While David Leitch has made a name for himself making action heavy, revenge based films, his crowning achievement to date is without question The Fall Guy. It’s a callback to the larger than life action blockbusters of the 1990s, that combined with a love of filmmaking intertwined with the action romantic comedy story, he has created one exciting and wildly entertaining trip to the cinema that must be experienced on the big screen. With the dazzling pairing of Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt who set the entire screen on fire with their off the charts chemistry, David Leitch orchestrates a jaw dropping symphony of jaw-dropping action sequences, memorable needle drops, hilarious moments and passionate romantic moments, ensuring that The Fall Guy is not only one of the best action romantic comedies to ever grace the silver screen, but one incredible tribute to the stunts department that captures the love of filmmaking in every scene!

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