Saturday, June 15, 2024

Gosling, Blunt star power fuel the ridiculously fun ‘Fall Guy’

by TYLER WILSON/Coeur Voice Contributor
| May 11, 2024 1:00 AM

Two stars of the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon should’ve been enough to create at least some box office pandemonium, especially when those stars appear in a movie as entertaining and big screen worthy as “The Fall Guy.”

Despite an aggressive marketing campaign and universally positive word of mouth, the action/rom-com hybrid starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt opened to middling numbers last weekend. It’s a shame because “The Fall Guy” resembles a '90s summer blockbuster in all the best ways. Stunts! Romantic chemistry! Funny one-liners! More stunts!

For whatever reason (streaming services, teenage apathy), moviegoing outside of “event-like” conditions continues to decline. A movie like “The Fall Guy” should make people reconsider their home entertainment options. Buy a ticket! Buy some popcorn! Ryan Gosling is Ken-ing and swooning all over the screen!

Though technically a loose remake of the '80s television series, “The Fall Guy” plays like a fresh theatrical experience, and one that prioritizes real-world movie stunts over generic CGI. The movie even openly campaigns for the Oscars to finally add a stunt category to the Academy Awards.

Gosling stars as Colt, a veteran stuntman still recovering from a devastating back injury when a desperate Hollywood producer (Hannah Waddingham of “Ted Lasso”) calls on Colt to double for movie star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) on a new action movie. Two hiccups: 1. The director, Jody (Emily Blunt) is Colt’s ex (he still loves her) and 2. Tom has gone missing from the Australian set.

Colt reluctantly investigates Tom’s absence while navigating wild stunts on the set and simmering tension with Jody. Once Tom’s underworld dealings begin to pull Colt into real life-and-death peril, the movie’s plotting doesn’t have much room for Blunt and her undeniable chemistry with Gosling. But “The Fall Guy” doesn’t care! It keeps putting the pair in extraneous scenes together, which proves to be more entertaining than any of the “A-plot” anyway.

Director David Leitch, a former stuntman and veteran action director of “John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde” and “Hobbs and Shaw,” still makes plenty of room for extended, creative fight sequences, as well as a series of jaw-dropping, in-camera stunts, including a spectacular car barrel roll on the beach and a helicopter-heavy finale.

The plot is ridiculous, but the filmmakers obviously know it, plus Gosling and Blunt operate in full movie star mode (a true rarity in 2024). In short, “The Fall Guy” is an (expletive deleted) blast to watch and a blockbuster worthy of a mass audience. Get off the couch! Go to the theater!

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Tyler Wilson can be reached at

    This image released by Universal Pictures shows Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling in a scene from "The Fall Guy."
    This image released by Universal Pictures shows Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a scene from "The Fall Guy."
    This image released by Universal Pictures shows Ryan Gosling in a scene from "The Fall Guy."