Film Review: The Fall Guy – 5.5/10

‘I never forget a fist...’

There has been much wailing and wringing of hands at the box office failure of The Fall Guy despite its litany of stars, buzzy director and solid reviews. Does this spell the end of cinema? Or does this actually demonstrate that the audience is a little more discerning than Hollywood thinks it is…

Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) is a stuntman for world-famous actor Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt) is a talented camera operator with designs on becoming a director who is engaged in a passionate fling with the eponymous fall guy (an industry term for a stuntman). Following a horrific onset accident, Seavers goes into hiding for a year emerging only when asked to return to the stuntman business by his former love.

While watching this movie, I found myself idly considering how similar this film is to 2022’s Bullet Train. After a quick IMDB check, the common denominator is director David Leitch. The acclaimed filmmaker and producer tries to replicate the success of Bullet Train here but he ends up with a film that feels uncomfortably close to one of the lesser Marvel movies. The comedy isn’t funny. The action is soulless and repetitive. Luckily, Gosling, Blunt and Taylor-Johnson are capable of elevating even the most asinine of scripts. And so, despite being overly long and tonally jarring, The Fall Guy is at least watchable for the most part. Having said that, by the third act, I was waiting for the credits to roll having failed to become invested in any of the characters or the plot.

This film didn’t fail because movies are dying or Hollywood is out of ideas or any of the other alarmist tropes trotted out whenever a blockbuster struggles at the box office. No, this film failed because it simply isn’t very good.