The Fall Guy REVIEW – Come for the Action, Stay for the Romance

The Fall Guy is a fun, breezy watch, and has everything you could possibly want in a summer blockbuster.

The Fall Guy
The Fall Guy

Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) is at a high point in his life: He’s the number one stuntman for Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), he’s met the love of his life Jody (Emily Blunt) and he has a job he loves. And in a quick second it all goes crumbling down. Colt suffers a workplace accident, and this leaves him with physical injuries, as well as emotional ones. He shuts Jody out of his life because he doesn’t want to drag her down into the abyss with him, and leaves stunt life altogether.

Years later, he gets a call from producer Gail with an offer to work with Tom, on a film that Jody’s directing. Lured in by the chance to see Jody again and maybe get a second chance, Colt takes a plane to Australia where they’re filming the movie. However, Jody’s not going to let him simply waltz back into her heart, he’s going to have to work for it.

Gosling’s spent so much of his career in brooding, dramatic roles, but it’s clear that the comedy/action genre is where he excels. He has impeccable comedic timing, great physical presence, and the film works because he’s in the lead role. The Fall Guy manages to succeed where The Gray Man failed, because it gives Gosling plenty of set pieces to flex his charisma. And of course, because he is adept at both comedy and drama, he handles the more emotional scenes with aplomb. Gosling really makes you feel for Colt, fleshing out his fears and insecurities, making a scene set to Taylor Swift’s All Too Well the most poignant thing ever.

He and Blunt have such fantastic chemistry together, and the film does an incredible job of building their romance even though we’re only given brief snippets of their relationship together. It’s a reminder of what two seasoned actors can create together onscreen even when the narrative isn’t exactly the strongest. I went into the film expecting an action movie, but I got a love story instead – no complaints there.

But you’re not watching The Fall Guy for the narrative. The movie is a love letter to stunt work and the stunt men and women who do so much of the hard work on films but rarely get any of the spotlight. The action scenes are high quality stuff, engaging and funny at the same time. There’s appropriate tension for most of the action scenes, while some are there just to add to the visual spectacle.

The Fall Guy also treats its supporting characters well. Winston Duke is ferociously good in his action scenes, and Taylor-Johnson is campily chewing scenery every chance he gets. A star-studded cast can truly elevate a film; even the dog Jean Claude is fantastic.

If I had to nit-pick, I would say that the film does too much, and unnecessarily convolutes the narrative, so when we reach the third act, it does feel like it’s gone on for too long. At times the editing could be better, as the transition between scenes can feel a little abrupt – like one moment Gosling is standing and the next he’s sitting, and we don’t get to see the transition.

If you’re looking for a fun time at the movies, The Fall Guy should more than satisfy.

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The Fall Guy
At this point, Ryan Gosling could be reading the phonebook and we would still be entertained. Gosling and Blunt are electric together, and the love story between their characters is actually more affecting than what we usually get in action movies.