In news, non-illustrated, Review

Despite noble intentions to shine the light on the stuntman profession, a couple of game superstars, and a beloved 1980s intellectual property being adapted, THE FALL GUY is mostly a botch. I haven’t been this disappointed in a major studio release chock full of high expectations since Universal bombed trying to introduce their “Dark Universe” with the wholly misconceived reboot of THE MUMMY in 2017. THE FALL GUY is that much of a mess – lacking in wit, adventure, and romance. I love Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt but their latest film is truly bad. How so? Here are the five biggest fails:


Gosling plays Hollywood stuntman Colt Seavers (the same name as the Lee Majors character had in the TV series) who is down on his luck from a spinal injury on his last gig. That job almost killed him and now he’s got some permanent bolts in his back, but that doesn’t stop him from rushing to Sydney, Australia for a movie job and a chance to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend who is directing the film.

You’d think the 18-hour plane ride would be bad enough on that ailing back, but soon he’s being thrown around like a Raggedy Ann doll, bouncing off of rocks on location all in the name of a lame-looking sci-fi extravaganza. Later, we’ll discover Colt’s been lured halfway around the world to take the fall for an accidental death concerning a fellow stuntman, a plot twist that is ludicrous in so many ways, not the least of which is that the bad guys flew Colt all that way just to set him up. What? No other crew members were available to be duped?

The film loses both the sense of that plotting as well as Colt’s attempts to reconcile with director Jody Moreno (Blunt), whom he still carries a torch for.  She does for him too, yet as much as the two stars try to work up some chemistry together, their characters spend most of the time explaining the convoluted plot machinations to each other. And such overly exposition-laden dialogue, courtesy of screenwriter Drew Pearce, drags down all the fun and sounds ineptly written, like a bad first draft. Suffice it to say, the screenplay is too complicated, too irritating, and not nearly as funny as it thinks it is.


Remember how clever that bit was at this year’s Academy Awards when Gosling and Blunt traded jabs about the box office prowess of BARBIE v. OPPENHEIMER? Well, those two minutes they had together were funnier than the two hours of strained banter and middling romance between their characters here in THE FALL GUY. Their banter wants to be Tracy and Hepburn but barely qualifies as Turner and Hooch.


The Oscar-nominated actress Stephanie Hsu (EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE) shows up in the middle of the film for one big action sequence and then promptly disappears for the rest of the film until the climax. What’s that all about? Other characters drop in and out like that too, never even being properly introduced or given context to how they fit in the plot. Again, is this the first draft that ended up getting shot?


Maybe we’ve all seen too many stunts in too many adventure films, but those here do not impress the way they should. Or maybe it’s because rolling a car doesn’t carry the same impact as watching superheroes save the planet over and over again as it does in over-the-top contemporary cinemas. No matter, the big set-pieces here are admirable, but never awe-inspiring.


Despite director David Leitch’s best intentions to showcase how professional stunt work is done, the ex-stuntman himself cheats continually throughout his movie. Scenes occur on the sets in Judy’s film that are wholly unrealistic. The action choreography, something that would be designed to be intricate and safe, looks sloppy and improvised. And worst of all, Leitch doesn’t trust the audience to be engaged by watching a film come to life on location so he keeps cutting in shots of what the final scene will look like with all of its CGI and color-corrected images in place. It’s an insult to every crew member and stunt person, let alone the ethos of filmmaking, not to mention an audience watching that should be enthralled enough by viewing such backstage machinations. It makes the single most infuriating part of this mistaken exercise.


Despite the same title, lead character name, and strained cameos at the end of the original TV series stars Lee Majors and Heather Thomas, this adaptation is shocking in how little it re-purposes the original ABC show. In that series that ran from 1981-1986, Colt was a stuntman, yes, but he also moonlighted as a bounty hunter to make ends meet. He used his physical acumen and movie effects knowledge to capture the fugitives he was assigned to catch. There’s none of that central idea here. Instead, we get good performers like Hannah Waddington and Aaron Taylor-Johnson over-acting like kids in a high school play. The action throughlines are perpetually fuzzy and hard to follow. And a lot of the production values look darn cheap. It’s a wonder that Majors and Thomas even showed up given that this updating left most of what made the show work far behind.

Granted, there are far worse B films and crappy horror flicks that open every weekend somewhere, but this is a major tentpole release from one of the few remaining mega-studios, and with all their reach, budget, and star power, what ends up on the screen is a shocking failure. This should have been great. Instead, it falls into the category of wholly blown opportunities. 

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search