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The Fall Guy

“You fall down, you get right back up. How far would you go for the one that you love?” Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt)

The Fall Guy, adapted from the 1980s ABC TV show, is blockbuster dangerous and romantic filling the need to see a summer actioner with intelligence that along the way teaches a loving audience about filmmaking. Bullet train’s director David Leitch (a former stuntman from such films as The Bourne Legacy and double for Brad Pitt) and writer Drew Pearce have eloquently crafted a smart film about the essential visual component of the biz and an amusing love affair between Jody and Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling), a Swiftie crying to Taylor’s All Too Well, that makes a satisfying rom-com for the summer.

At a time when AI is a flashpoint about veracity and authenticity. The Fall Guy more than enough makes the case for the human side of filmmaking even if part of the film shows how stunt making can be a vehicle for bad in real life. Regardless, this film celebrates real artists supporting real art.

It’s a movie within the movie about Colt, the appealing stunt man, and his ex-girlfriend, Jody, who directs a sci-fi movie with a lead, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), gone strangely missing. Colt is asked to find him and at the same time reignite his romance; it’s complicated because it also involves a conspiracy. Echoes of the splendid Dune and light-hearted Cowboys & Aliens are all around.

For those who like a mystery, The Fall Guy delivers. For those who love movies and die for peeks behind the scenes, the stunt sequences hold secrets of the art and craft that enhance appreciation. It features cannon rolls, pyrotechnics, smart dogs, etc. This romcom is like analyzing a challenging novel as it exposes some of the tricks and subtexts that make movies meaningful magic.

You can’t now do better for almost-summer blockbustering with a mind of its own.

The Fall Guy

Director: Davud Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Bullet Train)

Screenplay: Drew Pearce (Fast and Furious Presents: )

Cast: Ryan Gosling (Barbie), Emily Blunt (Girl on the Train)

Run Time: 2h 6m

Rating: PG-13

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts NPR’s It’s Movie Time and Cinema Classics as well as podcasts Back Talk and Double Take (recently listed by Feedspot as two of the ten best NPR Movie Podcasts) out of WCBE 90.5 FM, Columbus, Ohio. Contact him at

John DeSando