The Fall Guy (2024)

Movie Info

Movie Info

David Leitch
Run Time
2 hours and 6 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4.5 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry;
    give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
From you let my vindication come;
    let your eyes see the right.

If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,
    if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;
    my mouth does not transgress.

Psalm 17:1-3
Stuntman Colt Seavers is trying to get back in the good graces of film director Jody Moreno. (c) Universal

Whatever genre you think director David Leitch’s new film belongs in— action, crime/mystery, screwball comedy, movie about movies, or romcom—it ranks at the top of that genre. Never a dull moment, the film is a warm tribute to the stunt men (and women) who take the fall for a star who is too valuable to risk a serious injury or death that would wreck a film production. The director himself is a former stunt man, according to IMDB performing them in 82 films, such as The Bourne Legacy Conan the Barbarian. And Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Coscript writers Drew Pearce and Glen A. Larson have adapted the latter’s 1981 TV series to create an UpToDate tale bound to appeal to action film lovers.

Ryan Gosling again shows what a versatilely talented actor he is in this role of stunt man Colt Seavers who is in love with camera operator Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt). For several years he has taken the falls for popular action star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) because not only is he the best stunt man in the business, but with their small beards, the two look alike. What a petty man the actor Tom is when see in the scene in which he is upset by the shot of Colt’s stunt because a “wrong” angle shows too much of Colt’s face.

Colt’s  misadventure starts with him buckled up and set to take a fall of over a hundred feet. Something goes terribly wrong, for which Colt blames himself, and he breaks his back at the end of the long fall. Fifteen months later he is back on his feet, now serving as an embittered parking lot valet at an exclusive club. In his despair during physical therapy, he broke off contact with Jody, much to her hurt. When contacted by film producer Gail (Hannah Waddingham) and invited to come to Sydney, Australia to work on the new film science fiction blockbuster Metalstorm, he turns her down. But when she reveals that this is Jody Moreno’s big break as a director, he changes his mind, seeing this as his chance to patch things up and get back with her again.

However, Jody, not informed of Gail’s decision, is very upset by his presence. She is still smarting from his rejection of her. Only stunt coordinator Dan Tucker (Winston Duke) is glad to see him because there is a shortage of stunt men with enough talent to pull off the intricate ones required in this film. Jody, convinced that they do need him, shows her ire by making him repeat a dangerous stunt over and over again. It is a tough one involving him to be set afire by an explosion and then hurled against a big rock. In between takes she uses a megaphone to berate him, publicly shaming him.

Of course, we know from the romcom genre that the feuding lovers will eventually be brought together, but in this exciting tale it will take a lot of maneuvering and exciting chases, during which we are treated to dozens of breath-taking stunts, both in the narrative and within the movie-in-a movie. Gail comes to Colt when Tom Ryder disappears and asks him to track him down before his absence is noted on the set. This results in a spectacular search, with Sidney and its great Opera House shown in all their glory. There are numerous fights, even, when Colt is searching Tom’s luxurious apparent (with its million-dollar view of the harbor) and Tom’s co-star Alma (Stephanie Hsu) attacks him with a samurai sword.

There’s a sequence bound to appeal to dog lovers in which Colt picks up a dog companion, trained in so many ways that Colt is able to utilize them in his fights. Guess where, in attack-mode the pooch has been taught to grab an assailant in its jaws? Colt and dog fight in a spectacular battle in a dumpster being towed through the city streets by a truck. There is also an exciting night-time chase through Sidney’s harbor with its famous sites lit up in the background.

The film’s title assumes a double meaning when Colt discovers in a bathtub the body of a fellow stunt man, his corpse being preserved by mounds of ice cubes. News flashes go out under the assumption that the disappeared Colt is the killer. How Colt, eventually joining forces with his beloved Jody, overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles, both to his reputation and his life, make for what is the most exciting action film of this spring. And Emily and Gosling are so good together that romance lovers will also will be delighted.

Also, a little more about the action dog. Given the delightful name of Jean-Claude, we know that it has been trained by a Frenchman because it responds only to that language– “Attaquez!” After one of their fights, Colt, preparing his dog, sitting next to him in the truck, for a jump, says, “I’ll buy you a drink after this is over! Engage your core!” Afterward we see Colt icing his fist in a frozen margarita with Jean Claude sitting next to him lapping up a drink in a beer glass.

Unlike the Marvel films, neither the fate of the universe nor of humanity are at stake, but the two main characters are so appealing that we come to care about them. Moralists might appreciate stunt coordinator Dan Tucker’s words to Colt—“But it ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward”—but for the filmmakers this was just to set up a nod to another film (one of several), Colt replying, “Nah, man! You can’t quote Rocky on me like that!”

If you feel the need to escape thw world’s bad news for a couple of hours, David Leitch has just the film  for you.

This review will be in the June issue of VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.

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