The Fall Guy  (12A) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir. David Leitch, US, 2024, 126 mins

Cast:  Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Hannah Waddington, Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Review by Carol Allen

Action movie director David Leitch (Bullet Train, Deadpool 2 and one of the Fast and Furious movies) is a former stunt man.  It shows in his love of directing action movies and The Fall Guy is a tribute to the guys who risk life and limb in the cause of saving the big stars risking theirs.   Plus there is a story attached to it too.

Ryan Gosling is Colt Seavers,  the fall guy of the title.  When we first meet him, he is recuperating from a daring stunt, which seriously injured his back and has put him out of action for eighteen months.  Steamrolling producer Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham) persuades him to come back, as Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson),  the star of her current production, has gone awol and she needs Colt to cover for him stunt wise, so they can carry on filming and also to help try to find the absent actor.  The big attraction for the job as far as Colt is concerned though is that the director of the film is his ex-girlfriend Jody (Emily Blunt) and this could be a chance to win her back.

Because of the subject, the real stars here are the actual stunt men and women on this film.   Standing in for Gosling and some of the other actors they perform spectacular stuff – hanging from an aeroplane, getting bashed up in fights and a truly mega car and pickup truck chase through the city, in which Colt is assisted by his very cute and supportive dog, who has a French name and wears a seat belt.   Another interesting aspect of the film is the insight it gives into the film making process itself.   The film within the film is of course an action movie, which appears to be about an Indiana Jones type character battling with weird creatures on a far off planet.   Plenty of scope for stunts here as well, though I do question how come Colt manages to do them after that back injury I mentioned.   But full marks and admiration to whoever Ryan Gosling’s stunt man is.

Which reminds me, the actors.  Gosling is cute, sporting a rather sexy beard and boyishly tousled hair.   Blunt looks worried a lot of the time – but it’s  good to see a woman cast as an action movie director.  Big challenge that.  No wonder she looks worried.  But she does find time for a bit of smart talk and romantic dalliance with Colt.   The high energy Waddington as the producer steals every scene she’s in and Taylor Johnson doesn’t really have much of a part until the last third of the film.  The real stars of the film though are the actual stunt guys, doing the thing they do best.  God bless ‘em all.