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Ryan Gosling stars as stuntman Colt Seavers in new film “The Fall Guy.” Acting alongside Emily Blunt, the pair’s dynamic lends itself to an entertaining and action-packed movie full of surprises. Photo permission from Universal Pictures/TNS.

[Review] ‘The Fall Guy’ proves to be an absurd movie in the most intentional and entertaining way possible

The Fall Guy” is an action-comedy film starring Ryan Gosling that came out in theaters on May 3. Many have deemed it a “Barbenheimer” crossover, as Ryan Gosling’s love interest in the film is played by Emily Blunt. Light-hearted and entertaining, “The Fall Guy” pays homage to the ignored but imperative work of stuntmen in the film industry.

Based on a 1980s television series of the same name, the movie—while no future Oscars winner—is successful in being everything it was meant to be, which was more than enough. The movie follows Gosling’s character, stunt double Colt Seavers, as he becomes increasingly involved in the sinister events connected to the disappearance of actor Tom Ryder, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

At the beginning of the film, Seavers was in a happy relationship with Blunt’s character Jody, who was an aspiring director working on the same movie set as him—as told via a voiceover by Seavers. His love life was comparable to that of the movies, at least until a stunt accident left Seavers injured.

Following his injury, Seavers became somewhat of a recluse, pushing everyone, including Jody, away. He ceased to do stunts and resolved to a life of solitude as a valet, until a seemingly out of the blue call from Ryder’s agent changed everything.

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Revealing that a movie Ryder was starring in—directed by Jody—needed a stunt double, Seavers resolved to board a flight to the movie set in Australia and take on his first job as a stuntman since the accident. Just like in the movies, he was going to try and get her back.

Jody’s film, called “Metal Storm,” is a high-budget sci-fi with an eccentric plot. Upon getting to the movie set, Seavers quickly found himself engaging in several awkward interactions with Jody, who had not been informed of his presence. Gosling and Blunt played their roles well, leaning into their characters in a way that allowed them to portray for the screens two charming and comedic individuals with fantastic chemistry.

Some of the most humorous parts of the film came when the pair attempted to navigate their own problems with each other through discussions regarding the plot and script of Jody’s movie. She was struggling with the third act and needed his help to perfect it.

The beginning of the film also allowed time for numerous stunts, highlighting the very reason “The Fall Guy” was created. Directed by David Leitch, the film was an ode to the director’s days as a stuntman, which got him to where he is today. Having served as Brad Pitt’s stunt double for a decade, Leitch’s history with the craft allowed him to accurately depict the role of a stunt double on set.

Doing dangerous work for little to no recognition, stuntmen are notoriously overlooked and their vitality to the film industry is often ignored. Knowing this from personal experience, Leitch was able to give viewers a glimpse into the work of stuntmen and make one of them the main character in their own story.

The film progresses when Seavers is told the real reason he was asked to come to the set by Ryder’s agent, Gail, played by Hannah Waddingham. Having been Ryder’s stunt double for six years, Seavers and him have a “close” relationship; Seavers risks his life for Ryder’s success and Ryder treats him with his signature arrogance. Ryder is the epitome of a stereotypical, egotistical movie star and Taylor-Johnson put on a perfectly extravagant performance to suit the role.

Gail tells Seavers that Ryder has gone missing and become entangled in some unfortunate situations, thus she wants him to find him. Seavers agrees, doing it not for Ryder but rather for Jody and the sake of her movie, which will be in jeopardy if its star has disappeared.

Looking for clues across Sydney, Seavers uses his abilities as a stuntman to get himself out of some dangerous situations in his quest to find Ryder. Uncovering a conspiracy much larger than anticipated, Seavers winds up in way over his head. This journey comes with both the possibility of death as well as that of gaining greater insight into himself and thus, how to make up for his mistakes.

The typical action scenes prevail, with this portion of the movie scattered with fight scenes, car chases and of course, the discovery of a dead body. “The Fall Guy” sets itself apart from other action films, however, because it was shot with a sense of self-awareness that allows it not to take itself too seriously.

Ultimately, this lends itself to a hearty film; “The Fall Guy” was sincere yet also an action-packed bundle of entertainment that is unequivocally enjoyable. The movie is nonsensical, but it is nonsensical intentionally. It is purposefully absurd in all the right ways.

During this time, Seavers is also warming his way back into Jody’s heart. Seeking to right his past wrongs, he tries to do all the right things. The conspiracy he has gotten himself involved in though, has other plans. Not telling her about Ryder’s disappearance in an effort to keep her calm and focused on the movie, he winds up being accused of a crime he did not commit.

In a twist of events, Ryder is revealed to have purposely gone missing. He killed the stuntman he had hired to replace Seavers and was caught red-handed in a video Seavers came into possession of while searching for him. Ryder thus resolved to frame Seavers for his crime and destroy the evidence.

In an elaborate plan, Ryder and his accomplices drive Seavers to fake his death—the news reports that he committed suicide out of guilt over “his” crime. Jody is broken up over this, but does not believe a word the news says, no matter how much Gail—apparently an accomplice of Ryder—advances the narrative.

When Seavers at last reveals what is going on to Jody, they put their minds together to think up one final, cinematic, way to end Ryder’s web of lies. In a thrilling and action-packed end to the film, the pair aim to trick Ryder into a confession amidst the filming of the final scene of “Metal Storm.” It was an elaborate finale to the film, proving to be a humorous blur of enjoyment.

Seavers’ story was certainly worthy of such a grand ending and tying in the finale of “The Fall Guy” to that of “Metal Storm” made it all the more successful in bringing the film to a close. The culmination of Seavers’ story nods to his voiceover at the beginning of the film; it was as movie-worthy as his life once was.

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