‘The Fall Guy’ is fun and never shies away from its love for stuntmen

From left, Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers and Emily Blunt as Judy Moreno in “The Fall Guy”, directed by David Leitch.

From left, Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers and Emily Blunt as Judy Moreno in “The Fall Guy”, directed by David Leitch.

Published Apr 26, 2024


“The Fall Guy” is an enjoyable film that exposes its inner composition and pays tribute to the stunt community that makes action movies thrilling and heart pounding.

Director David Leitch makes a return to his roots as a stuntman. He puts a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes action heroes who often go unsung, as their work is intended to go unnoticed (when done right).

Leitch, the blockbuster director of “Bullet Train”, “Deadpool 2”, “Atomic Blonde” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” deliver his most personal film yet.

Inspired by the successful 1980s TV series, “The Fall Guy” unpacks the Herculean efforts required to pull of movie stunts, and doesn’t shy away from also showing its seams.

Colt Seaver is a stuntman, and like everyone in the stunt community, he gets blown up, shot, crashed, thrown through windows and dropped from the highest of heights, all for our entertainment.
“And now, fresh off an almost career-ending accident, this working-class hero has to track down a missing movie star, solve a conspiracy and try to win back the love of his life while doing his day job. What could possibly go right?
A new hilarious, hard-driving, all-star apex-action thriller and love letter to action movies and the hard-working and under-appreciated crew of people who make them: ‘The Fall Guy’.

One of the first things that stands out about the film, and is apparent in Leitch’s work, is his eye for skilful camera work.

Ben Jenkin on the set of “The Fall Guy”, directed by David Leitch

It seems to be a common trait for stuntmen-turned-directors to keep pushing the boundaries of the camera tracking, and how dynamic it is in capturing the on-screen action.

That feat was one of the film’s biggest positives as almost every action sequence managed to avoid feeling boring, and was always able to keep the viewer from getting confused in the many stunt sequences on display.

The film’s casting is also another standout success as Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling (“Barbie”, “La La Land”, “Drive”) is hilarious and vulnerable as Colt Seavers, a battle-scarred stuntman.

The same can be said for the super-talented Oscar nominee Emily Blunt (“Oppenheimer”, “A Quiet Place”, “Sicario”) who is funny and nails the comedic delivery of her character, Jody Moreno.

While the film’s comedy doesn’t always work, the two leads never feel out of place. They deliver different and funny performances, which are in contrast to the ones for which they received acclaim last year, in “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”.

The rest of the cast is having fun too and know exactly the genre of film they are making, so they don’t shy away from leaning into the over-the-top moments.

Two things that don’t work in the film’s favour, however, is the hyper-aware meta narrative and the weak story points that need more tweaking and fleshing out to really hook the audience.

At one point while watching the movie, I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching the movie “Stuntman” as it was evident they were connecting the stunt sequences together through sloppy story developments.

From left, Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers and Emily Blunt as Judy Moreno in “The Fall Guy”, directed by David Leitch.

The self-referential nature of the movie certainly has its charm but then it soon feels like the film is being too obvious in its meta commentary, with nothing else to say other than, “stuntmen are cool”.

That being said, the film should be commended for showing off and giving credit where credit is due – to stunt men. They put their bodies on the line to help make the movie immersive, and this film shows that making movies is tricky.

“The Fall Guy” is more of a fun experience with an admirable message, and less about the story that was advertised.

Will the movie end up going on to be a massive hit? Unlikely, but if you want an easy watching experience with just enough romance to entice the romcom-lovers, and all the action for action-lovers then this is the film that perfectly meets the middle ground.

Rating: 3/5

Cape Argus