Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

‘The Fall Guy’ stunts on other films

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt look at each other in the new film “The Fall Guy.” This film follows a stuntman as he returns to stunt acting after a disastrous injury. (Universal Pictures via AP)

An ode to the stunt person, “The Fall Guy” follows stuntman Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) as he returns to stunt acting after a disastrous injury.

Lulled into coming back by his on-screen counterpart Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his agent/producer (Hannah Waddingham), Seavers agrees to come back for one reason and one reason only: He is in love with the director, Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), a camera operator Seavers was seeing before his injury.

As I have written previously this year, 2024 is bound to be the year the blockbuster returns. No more superheroes or sequels, this year seems to be the return of the industry of the 1980s and 1990s. 

With a $130 million budget, “The Fall Guy” is one of the first non-superhero films in 2024 with a huge budget – outside of my personal favorite “Argylle.” On pace to earn $30 million to $35 million on opening weekend, “The Fall Guy” topped the box office this week, according to the Hollywood Reporter

While “The Fall Guy” is an action comedy, I think the most apt comparison for it is 2023’s “Anyone But You.”

Both films revive a recently-dead genre with a will-they-won’t-they couple who spend time in Sydney, Australia, and both films have major superstars at the helm – Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell for “Anyone But You.”

Neither of these films will go down in history as masterpieces, but that doesn’t always matter. 

Cinema is meant to be fun – as much as Letterboxd users might try to tell you otherwise. 

Sure, elevating the medium is a great thing to do and certainly adds to the artistic merit of one’s creation, but it isn’t the only thing film can or should do.

Whether it be Gosling’s hilarious one-liners or the brilliant performances of the stunt team (Chris O’Hara and Yeye Zhou), “The Fall Guy” has all the makings of a fun blockbuster hit. 

It won’t match recent non-superhero hits like “Barbie” or “Top Gun: Maverick” in either earnings or Oscar acclaim, but it certainly hits the same level of humor, intrigue and heartwarming romance. 

For “The Fall Guy,” Gosling and Blunt’s romance is the standout feature. I questioned how Gosling, that beloved cornball, was going to pair with Blunt’s often more serious presence, but the actors’ personas were accommodated by Drew Pearce’s script.

The dialogue – both between the eventual couple and the non-romantically involved – is stellar. It may not be the most realistic, but it’s wildly entertaining. Gosling’s skill for delivering the line his character doesn’t realize is an innuendo is on full display here. 

And, as much as I don’t want to admit it, possibly the best moment of the movie is when Gosling cries alone in his car to Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” Seeing him break down shows off the broken interior of a physically broken stuntman. When Blunt’s character walks past and sees him bawling his eyes out, well, it levels the humor – and the emotion – up even more. 

When it came to what didn’t work well, there was shockingly very little.

The biggest fault – unfortunately – was the way the stunt work was edited. Each stunt looked great but the editing around it was consistently excessive. 

This is most evident when Gosling – in the midst of a fight scene – is dragged in a metal garbage container across Sydney. While the stunt performances, some by Gosling himself, are excellent, there were way too many sparks edited into the final cut of the film. 

Watching the stunt take place in the credits, any viewer could see the sparks aren’t there. 

It’s quite sad that a movie about stunts can’t even give its own stunt enough credit. 

If director David Leitch ever reads this, I want him to know one thing: Stunts are cool enough on their own. 

On top of this, the action sequences each drag just a slight bit. I want maybe 10 seconds to 20 seconds pulled from each one, but in a film over two2 hours long, to have only minor pacing problems like this is closer to the success column for me.

While the film isn’t perfect and sometimes undersells its focus, “The Fall Guy” is too fun to go unnoticed. This review, at least, thinks this film earns a thumbs up.

More to Discover