The Fall Guy Review

Reviews Films


Hoping to capitalise off the global phenomenon that was Barbenheimer, Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are back on our screens to kick off the summer movie season with Universal Pictures’ The Fall Guy. Loosely inspired by the 1980’s stuntman-themed TV show of the same name, The Fall Guy promises an action-packed, romance-filled insight into the underappreciated industry of stunt work. 

From the outset, The Fall Guy promised a mix of action blockbuster meets romantic comedy. However, the film’s execution falls far short of its ambitious setup. The plot is hampered by predictability, and a twist that lacks the impact it sorely needs. While the story aimed for suspense and surprise, the execution had an adverse outcome – we were subjected to a drawn-out and tedious stumble to the conclusion we all saw coming.

The film’s identity crisis unfortunately extends to its genre, where it dabbles between action sequences and romantic comedy beats without fully committing to either. This indecision results in a muddled overall tone that seems to leave both action fans and romance lovers wanting more. The action scenes, while competently choreographed, feel like they serve the dual purpose of padding the runtime and showcasing stunt work – a nod, perhaps, to an in-film campaign promoting Oscars recognition for stunt performances.

L to R: Aaron Taylor-Johnson is Tom Ryder and Emily Blunt is Judy Moreno in THE FALL GUY, directed by David Leitch

Directorially, nothing in The Fall Guy is poorly executed per se; but neither does anything stand out as particularly memorable. The film transitions from set piece to set piece with technical proficiency, but lacks the emotional depth or narrative innovation that might have made it a standout. It feels like a film playing it safe; content to entertain but not to innovate or challenge – ironic for a film about risky stunt work.

Where the film does shine, however, is in its casting. Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt deliver performances that are nothing short of charismatic. Their on-screen chemistry is palpable, bringing a vibrant energy to every scene they share. Gosling’s charm and Blunt’s wit mesh well, providing a delightful respite from the otherwise underwhelming narrative. It’s their dynamic that injects a much-needed spark into the film.

The film does succeed as a “popcorn flick”, offering enough entertainment value to justify its existence as a casual viewing choice. It’s the sort of film that might not disappoint on a lazy evening or as a light-hearted date night option. Yet, for those seeking the high-octane thrill or deep emotional connection often heralded by the best of summer blockbusters, The Fall Guy may come as a disappointment.

In conclusion, The Fall Guy is an example of a film that has all the right elements – talented actors, a solid production team, and a popular genre formula – but never quite manages to transcend its limitations. It’s a competent movie that will likely find its audience, but won’t linger long in the minds of cinephiles. As the credits rolled, I found myself wishing that the film had taken a few more risks, either in its storytelling or its genre execution.

Rating 5/10