The Fall Guy Movie Review

The Fall Guy movie poster

There was a time when the summer movie season kicked off with a bang, with an explosive blockbuster sure to pack theaters worldwide. In 2024, we get pure mediocrity in the form of The Fall Guy.

Much has been said about the state of cinema, the box office, and The Fall Guy’s inability to draw audiences to theaters despite an original premise and a well-liked cast (Ryan Gosling, hot off Barbie, and Emily Blunt, hot off Oppenheimer). While we won’t get into the varied arguments, what if the primary reason for the movie’s lackluster returns was simple: audiences saw the marketing and adequately predicted this wasn’t a movie that needed to be seen.

In fact, far from it.

The Fall Guy is an action-comedy about a stuntman (Gosling) who attempts to track down his on-screen counterpart (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) but ends up getting involved in a crime conspiracy. He’s also trying to win back the love of his life, who also happens to be his director (Blunt).

The movie is meant to be an ode to stunt work. It’s directed by David Leitch, who has an eye for action cinematography and stunts (he directed Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2, and was heavily involved in the first John Wick). It’s co-written by the guy who wrote Iron Man 3. So why does The Fall Guy fall so flat?

While the action is mildly entertaining for a concept action-comedy, it’s the kind of action you find in semi-generic action-comedies that you forget about as soon as you’ve seen it. For a movie that is about celebrating stunts, shouldn’t The Fall Guy at least try to blow your socks off? The action is so routine I found my attention waning.

Worse, it’s a comedy that isn’t funny. Gosling and Blunt have great chemistry together, but chemistry doesn’t make the humor any better. There’s a lot of chitchatting and banter and weird scenarios these characters find themselves in, yet I found myself laughing literally zero times throughout.

An action-comedy without great action or much of a trace of comedy is doomed to failure. Its one saving grace is that it’s relatively harmless and inoffensive–it’s an easy enough watch that certainly will appeal to those less discerning. But my take: don’t try to catch The Fall Guy. He doesn’t deserve it. And you deserve better.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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