Thursday, May 23, 2024

Movie Review: The Fall Guy

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun action; leads have great chemistry
Cons: Trying to do a little too much slows down the pacing at times
The Bottom Line:
Missing lead actor
His stunt man is on the case
In this fun movie

Fun Action Romantic Comedy Mystery

When I’d heard they were officially making The Fall Guy into a movie, I got excited.  Then I saw the trailers, and I lost interest until I started hearing from people I trust that the movie was a lot of fun.  The result?  I decided to go out and watch it in the theater.  While I feel like others enjoyed it more than I did, I still liked it.

The movie follows Colt Seaver (Ryan Gosling), a stunt man who is making a good living since he doubles for action super star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).  However, an accident on set sends Colt into self-imposed isolation he recovers from his injuries.

That is until a frantic call from Tom’s producer, Gail (Hannah Waddingham), brings Colt out of retirement.  But he only agrees to double Tom again because this movie is the big break for Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), his long-time crush, and it is in danger of falling apart.

Turns out Jody isn’t happy to see Colt again.  And Gail has a secret reason for getting Colt to the set.  It seems that Tom has vanished, and, unless Colt can find him, the film will be shut down and Jody’s big break, like her career, will be shelved.  Can Colt save the day?

In case you don’t know, this movie is inspired by a 1980’s TV show.  I’ve seen some episodes over the years, which is why I was happy to see the show getting a big screen version.  (And maybe we can get more than the first season on DVD?  Pretty please?)  Those who know the show will see why I said inspired by.  Yes, there are some nods to the original show here, but the script spins them in entirely new directions.  However, it is obviously done by people who love the original, as evidenced by the nods and winks to it, which I loved.  I caught a few other fun nods to other 80’s pop culture, and I’m sure there are more I missed.  Fans of the original will want to be sure they catch the mid-credits scene.  And they’ll enjoy the reworked version of the theme song as recorded by Blake Shelton.

Okay, so let’s stop comparing to the past and look at this movie on its own merits, shall we?

It tries to do a bit too much.  It’s an action movie.  It’s a romantic comedy.  It’s a mystery.  It just almost worked for me, but not quite.  I think that’s because, at times, the romantic comedy seems to overshadow everything else.  And it was the everything else I was there to see.  Not to say I didn’t enjoy that aspect of it the movie, it just wasn’t the main thing I was there for.

And that’s not to say the movie isn’t enjoyable.  After all, Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt had great chemistry, so it was easy to root for them to work things out.  The mystery was solid with some good twists.  More importantly, it provided a good framework for the stunts.

I mean, a movie about a stuntman.  You know there had to be stunts, right?  Like with the show, some are related to the movie and some are in real life as Colt tries to figure out what is going on and survive the bad guys who are coming after him.  Either way, they are fantastic.  We believe them, and it’s fun to watch in the credits to get an idea of how they did some of them.

While I talked about the leads earlier, the entire cast is good in their parts.  I didn’t spot too many opportunities for fx here, which means that any we had was pretty good.  I think they went with the practical effects and stunts as much as they could.

I also appreciated the humor.  The movie has some great lines and clever meta moments without being true meta moments.  Okay, some of them are obvious, too, but some were more subtle.  Either way, I got a kick out of them.

Obviously, this movie is a tribute to stunt people.  It’s got to be a hard job, and one I’d be horrible at.  As someone who does enjoy the results of their work, I appreciate the honor the script gives them.

Overall, The Fall Guy is a fun movie that will have something for everyone.  Be sure you do see it today.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'll enjoy this one. I don't remember The Fall Guy, but I wasn't watching much TV in the 1980s. I like Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt and have a fascination with stunt people, so that should be enough to make this fun.


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