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The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy

David Leitch continues his streak of entertaining action flicks with this effortlessly engaging romp with Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt as the leads.

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David Leitch has become one of my favourite directors to watch out for. While he hasn't made any standout excellent flicks that you expect to run rampant at awards ceremonies, he does know how to make action, and truly entertaining action at that. Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, Bullet Train, and now The Fall Guy, Leitch has a great recent history, and his latest effort just cements his action talents even more.

This film is everything that you want from a theatrical action film. It's cool and suave, thrilling and explosive, light-hearted and fun, hilarious and emotional, there's a bit of everything in The Fall Guy. And it's this that makes this movie such an effortlessly entertaining romp, one where Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt stand out for their charismatic performances while the meta elements allow it to thrive and not become too burdened with exposition.

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Yes, you heard that right, I'm using everyone's favourite keyword: meta. The Fall Guy is a film about a stuntman that is tasked with finding the lead actor on a movie that he is working on. The title is a double entendre, as he is both a literal fall guy due to his stunt background, and also because he soon becomes wrapped up in a plot where sinister forces are looking to turn him into an actual criminal fall guy too. Adding to this a very clear caricature of Hollywood and the film industry, with constant references to ugly CGI, evil and disconnected executives, big-headed stars, irrelevant and overlooked stunt performers, and a story that plays out on multiple fronts, not just in the film-within-the-film but also in how the leading characters of Gosling's Colt Seavers and Blunt's Jody Moreno are connected. This flick has layers within layers, and while that would no doubt blow your mind and lead to confusion if it was a Christopher Nolan movie, the plot of The Fall Guy is so clearly intended that it feels natural, and hence incredibly, and unapologetically, meta.

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There are moments for sure where The Fall Guy's plot feels a bit too predictable or slow, but the meta and inferrable elements do allow you to push past these sections and endure them. Perhaps Leitch could have trimmed the film down by 15 minutes to limit this feeling further, but with a constant stream of highly coordinated and exciting action sequences being broken up by great and personal moments between Gosling and Blunt, you can understand why the film pushes just past the two-hour marker. When it's at its best, The Fall Guy will command your attention and see you truly engaged and entertained in a way that very few theatrical films have managed so far this year.

The Fall Guy
The Fall GuyThe Fall Guy

The Fall Guy is often described as an action rom-com. While the action side of things is handled really well, so much so that you can see why this film is also being regarded as a letter to the Academy that stunt performers should and need to be recognised at the Oscars, the rom-com elements are also handled with elegance. A lot of this success can be placed on the backs of Gosling and Blunt, who are absolutely brilliant together in this film and completely steal the spotlight from every other cast member, but the way the humour and emotion is weaved in never makes this film feel silly or too daft (which it is literally supposed to be) or too romantic and quirky. The balance is exactly what you want it to be.

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The additional cast members do help elevate this film just that little bit higher too, although as I mentioned a moment ago, they are often overshadowed by the leading duo. Hannah Waddingham is perhaps the best supporting star here, with a great outing as a delusional production executive that complements Aaron Taylor-Johnson's obnoxious fictional lead actor Tom Ryder. There are a few hilarious cameos too, which I won't spoil but do lead to plenty of laughs. Oh, and the soundtrack is up there with the best of them. If you loved Guardians of the Galaxy's Awesome Mix, this soundtrack will be right up your street too.

The Fall GuyThe Fall Guy

But all being said, The Fall Guy is a raucously entertaining action flick that is precisely the sort of injection that the box office needs this year. It's fresh and new, with great pacing, brilliant action, top performances, and witty and humorous comedy. It won't be winning any of the most sought-after awards, but it should be in consideration for visual effects, production design, and all of the typical awards that we usually see superhero and other more predictable action films make the cut for on an annual basis. If it wasn't for Dune: Part Two, I would go as far as saying that The Fall Guy is currently the best action movie of 2024.

08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
overall score
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The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy

MOVIE REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

David Leitch continues his streak of entertaining action flicks with this effortlessly engaging romp with Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt as the leads.



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