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Featured Review

The Fall Guy ★★★★



Released: 2nd May 2024

Director: David Leitch

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt

Jackie Chan’s shopping mall fight in the insane Police Story climax, to the incredible Aston Martin DBS crash in Casino Royale breaking the world record for the most amount of barrel roles (courtesy of stunt driver Adam Kirley). From Tom Cruise’s death-defying antics in the Mission Impossible franchise, to the completely bonkers pole cat sequence in Mad Max Fury Road (thanks to stunt co-ordinator Guy Norris and 150 stunt performers). There has been an amazing array of iconic stunts which have brought a multitude of action films to life across the years. And even though the Oscars still haven’t acknowledged the outstanding work of these talented teams with a dedicated category, director (and former stunt performer) David Leitch and stars Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt have certainly been celebrating, and campaigning for, the unsung heroes of Hollywood in the press tour for this latest big budget blockbuster.

The Fall Guy centres on down-and-out stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling), as he comes out of retirement following a major injury to join the film crew of sci-fi flick Metalstorm. While attempting to win back his ex-girlfriend, camera operator turned first time director Jody (Blunt), Colt is also tasked to secretly track down the films’ main protagonist, the insufferable movie star Tom Ryder (Taylor-Johnson), following his latest disappearance. 

This entertaining and incredibly fun blockbuster really does have something for everyone. Love action and adventure with plenty of car chases, outlandish stunts and fight sequences? Tick. Fancy a noir-esque mystery comedy akin to The Nice Guys? Tick. Or how about a fun, star studded romantic comedy, complete with Notting Hill references? Tick. Yes, the plot is admittedly on the thin side with a fair share of predictable moments, but there’s just so many brilliant gags peppered throughout, along with wonderful romantic charm and several elaborately staged action sequences which are a joy to watch. Furthermore, at the heart of the gag-filled flick is an endearing love letter to stunt teams and their incredible feats.

Following the success of Barbenheimer (and THAT Oscar performance), Leitch cleverly capitalises on the charisma and comedic timing of stars Gosling and Blunt, with the leads sharing a wonderful chemistry throughout. Both nail the charming will-they-won’t-they dynamic, with Gosling perfectly mining the sweet himbo vulnerability of Colt as he seeks to rekindle his romance with Jody, while jumping back into stunt work following his painful and almost career ending accident. Gosling fans can add another outstanding jacket to the list too, with the Miami Vice stunt team jacket also proving a fun plot device. 

No stranger to action, (hello, Edge of Tomorrow) Blunt also excels in the hand-to-hand combat sequences she’s afforded alongside her characters’ director duties onset, while hilariously putting Colt through the ringer in front of the whole cast as he’s set on fire and catapulted into a rock repeatedly. Alongside the action set pieces, the two also shine in the quieter moments, particularly with Gosling’s hilarious rendition of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” and Blunt’s take on Phil Collins’ “Take a Look at Me Now (Against All Odds)”.  

It’s clear that the supporting cast are also having a blast, with the scene stealing Hannah Waddingham fully hamming it up in the archetypal “darling” producer role, while Taylor-Johnson hilariously mines the Matthew-McConaughey drawl for Colt. Winston Duke also shines as stunt co-ordinator Dan Tucker, sharing a fun dynamic with Gosling’s Colt as they gleefully recreate iconic film fight sequences throughout their showdowns, with so many wonderful film and stunt references. 

Director Leitch gleefully revels in its many action-packed set pieces, with Gosling’s Colt thrown into all manner of chases (complete with unicorns), fights and explosions on his quest to track down Ryder. Not content with a pyrotechnic heavy car chase across a beach (with cannon rolls galore), there’s also an edge-of-your seat fall out of a helicopter and a brilliant final act showdown against the villains on set of Metalstorm with the film’s stunt team fully getting involved. Plaudits must go to stunt veteran Chris O’Hara as the films’ Stunt Coordinator and Second Unit Director, along with Gosling’s stunt doubles (Logan Holladay, Ben Jenkin, Justin Eaton and Troy Lindsay Brown) who have been brilliant alongside the star in the film’s marketing.

Strap in for an explosively entertaining blockbuster ride with both Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt on brilliant form – just make sure you stick around for the wonderful end-credits making-of sequence. Roll on the spicy margaritas!

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