• Tue. May 28th, 2024

THE FALL GUY – Despite Great Laughs and Stunts, It Doesn’t Stick the Landing…

ByTaylor T Carlson

May 1, 2024
THE FALL GUY is directed by David Leitch. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Winston Duke, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It’s based on the classic television series of the same name.

Stuntman Colt Seavers is out of work and fades into obscurity following an accident on the job, losing his relationship with his girlfriend who does camera work in the business. A year and a half later, he’s summoned back to a movie set when his former flame has become a director, and is sent to investigate the disappearance of Tom Ryder, the man he’d famously doubled in the past. Will he uncover the mystery, while at the same time patching things up with the woman he once loved?

THE FALL GUY, the original TV series, was admittedly a bit before my time. But like so many old television shows, this one has gotten the reboot treatment in the form of a feature film. For this movie, plenty of talent is on deck, including director David Leitch (JOHN WICK, ATOMIC BLONDE) and a terrific leading pair in the form of Emily Blunt (SICARIO, A QUIET PLACE) and Ryan Gosling (BLADE RUNNER 2049, BARBIE). This new take on THE FALL GUY benefits immensely from the chemistry of its leads, but it becomes too over the top and ridiculous, running 20 minutes longer than any comedy should while becoming confused as to what its emphasis should be.

Where THE FALL GUY most succeeds is in its leading pear. Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt brilliantly play off of each other in the scenes they spend together. Torn apart when Seavers’ injury thrust him out of the spotlight ad into obscurity, the sheer awkwardness of their reunion makes for some of the film’s funniest moments. And while it’s too bad they spend most of the movie separated, both of them get a chance to shine, with the film being laugh-out-loud funny when it tries.

The film also pulls out all the stops when it comes to its action sequences, and, of course, the elaborate stunts that it requires. There are even some fun meta-humor moments, and even some half-joking half-serious commentaries on how there are no awards given for stunts, which are quite amusing when they arise.

Unfortunately, THE FALL GUY has no idea what it wants to be. It works best when it’s a comedy on a move set, with two estranged lovers reuniting under the most awkward of circumstances. But it’s not long before a generic wild goose chase packed with stunts and explosions is underway. The comedic timing of everyone involved is great, but too often the movie loses its focus. And it doesn’t take a genius to know who the masterminds behind the plot in question are; the predictability doesn’t do the movie any favors.

Sometimes simplicity is the best approach, but on THE FALL GUY, the writers simply couldn’t go that route. The movie continually trues to outdo and one-up itself, dragging on with a running time of over two hours. This is 20 minutes longer than any modern comedy should be, and it wasn’t long before I was looking at my watch throughout the screening I was in. The audience found this film hilarious, and I won’t deny there were a few moments that amused and entertained me.

THE FALL GUY has two fantastic leads, but squanders their potential on a needlessly overlong plot that does the finished product no favors. It’s definitely got enough laughs and entertaining stunts, but it’s more of a “rent it when it comes out on video and streaming” situation than something you should rush to the theater to see.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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