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Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Fall Guy 2024 * * * Stars


2024's The Fall Guy is based on a TV series from the 80s which I've never seen (but only heard of). For every bone-crunching brawl moment there is tongue placed right in cheek. For every blazing pyrotechnic there's a Steadicam shot that would make Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu kind of jealous. "Fall Guy", well it's a lavish yet emotionless, hollow spectacle, an excuse to promote auditorium hearing loss and uh, blow stuff up. "You're a stuntman, nobody's gonna notice you". Uh-huh, whatever. It's all fun and games till someone gets hurt. 

Directed by a former stuntman himself (Wisconsin native David Leitch) and attached with a budget of at least $150 mil (sort of makes sense doesn't it?), The Fall Guy chronicles stunt performer Colt Seavers (played with dumbed-down coolness by the especial Ryan Gosling) as he comes out of retirement from a life-threatening injury. Guess what, there's more. Colt also tries to rekindle his junior high-like romance with his director (Emily Blunt as Jody Moreno) and take on some bad guys who have supposedly kidnapped his action star who he stunt doubles for (Tom Ryder played with a certain snide excess by Aaron-Taylor Johnson). 

The Fall Guy, yeah it's an ode to Old Hollywood and on-set quirky, cloak-and-dagger. It's also loud, dopey violent fun, a movie-within-a-movie that doesn't take itself seriously because well, if it did we wouldn't quite enjoy it as much. So yeah, just imagine if Jesse V. Johnson (action monger) went back in time to helm 1978's Hooper. Better yet, un-imagine director Leitch, deciding to channel his inner Hal Needham as he whisks you from one set piece to the next fashioning a bare bones plot, mordant dialogue, and some wandering editing. Yup, that's The Fall Guy for ya so hey, load up on the popcorn and avoid those energy drinks. You won't need em'.  Ride for this "fall". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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