Entertainment Magazine

I Might Roll a Brand-New Car

Posted on the 12 May 2024 by Sjhoneywell
Film: The Fall Guy
Format: Market Square Theater (Theater 3). I Might Roll a Brand-New Car

So we went out to the movies tonight. I just finished grading for a few classes and needed a break and she’s going to be out all day tomorrow (she spends Mother’s Day with our younger daughter), so I thought I’d see what was playing. She showed interest in The Fall Guy, so we went. It would have been cheaper to go one town over, but the seats aren’t as nice, and what the hell? So we went.

The Fall Guy is loosely based on the television show of the same name. In the show, from about 40 years ago, a stuntman (played by Lee Majors, who shows up for a cameo at the end) also acts as a bounty hunter between movie gigs, usually using his stuntman prowess to capture bad guys. That’s not the case this time. In fact, while we’re still in the realm of stunt performers, this is going to take a much more literal, albeit slang meaning of the title.

Ridiculously movie-named stuntman Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) has steady work in action movies as the stunt double for major star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is evidently from a different branch of the Taylor-‘s than Anya Taylor-Joy), who comes across as exactly self-absorbed as you would assume him to be. Colt has a little romance going with camera operator Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt). His life turns around for the much worse when a stunt goes wrong, essentially removing him from the business and from Jody’s life.

That is, until he gets a call from Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham), a producer who is currently producing the new Tom Ryder film, which is also the directorial debut of…Jody Moreno. Gail tells Colt to get on a plane to Sydney to appear in some stunts, which does not go well, naturally since Jody felt abandoned when Colt dropped off the map. Secretly, though, Gail tells Colt that Tom Ryder is missing and she needs Colt to find him, or the studio will pull the plug on the movie and Jody’s career will be finished.

Of course there’s a lot more going on. As Colt starts looking into what happened to Tom, things start getting murkier and murkier. And, naturally, there is a noir-esque plot here that is going to come to light that will make Colt not merely a fall guy in the sense that he falls off buildings, but a fall guy in the sense that he’s being framed to take the rap for a crime he didn’t commit.

There are some elements to like with The Fall Guy. There are some good moments in the screenplay, for instance. In fact, for a movie like this, the highest compliment is one that I can legitimately give it—there are places here that genuinely felt like they came from a Shane Black film. There are naturally some good action sequences. Director David Leitch has some legitimate action cred (among other films, he directed Bullet Train and Atomic Blonde) and is a former stunt performer/stunt coordinator. Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt make a good on-screen couple, and I always like seeing Hannah Waddingham. And, the stunt coordinator of the film-within-a-film is played by Winston Duke, who is generally great.

But not everything is perfect in this film. There are some real issues that the film needs to contend with, or should contend with, but does not. For starters, as much as this is a romance film between Colt and Jody, there actually isn’t a great deal of romance to it. They’re cute together in the beginning, there’s anger when they reunite, and…it just sort of works itself out in a way that feels unrealistic and plot-driven. Seriously, she’s ready to take his battered ass back after 24 hours.

A much bigger problem is the predictability of the plot. The movie all but telegraphs where it’s going to go, and while there are moments where it looks like all is lost, there never really feels like any tension to what is happening. Not for a second did I think that things weren’t going to work out in one way or another because that’s the kind of movie this is. We expect the good guy to get the girl and beat the bad guys and not get framed, and that’s exactly what we’re going to get. We’re going to get some fun stunts, some snappy dialogue, and a few laughs, and that’s it; roll credits.

That’s not to say I wasn’t entertained. I was. I don’t think this is one that really needs to be seen in a theater, though, and it definitely doesn’t have enough in it to see it a second time…and a first watch is hardly required viewing.

Why to watch The Fall Guy: It feels a lot like a Shane Black script.
Why not to watch: It’s entertaining, but not much more.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog