The Fall Guy – Review

Worth seeing: as a perfectly entertaining 1980s TV adaptation that doesn't set itself particularly high targets so has no trouble meeting them
Director:David Leitch
Featuring:Emily Blunt, Ryan Gosling, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Adam Dunn, Ben Knight, Hannah Waddingham, Matuse, Stephanie Hsu, Teresa Palmer, Winston Duke, Zara Michales
Length:126 minutes
Released:2nd May 2024


After an accident forces stuntman Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling) into early retirement, he retreats from his old life, leaving everything behind – including his camera operator girlfriend Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt).

But film producer Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham) tracks him down and lures him out of retirement with a job on Jody’s first film as director, to double for its star, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

When he arrives on set, he finds out that Tom has gone missing and Gail believes he’s the only one who can find him, to keep the film on track – and save Jody’s directing career from crashing, before it’s even started.

Colt’s stunt skills are even more important off the film set than they are in front of the camera as the search for Tom requires him to indulge in fist-fights, car chases and hanging from helicopters, in this action-comedy-romance, that’s a loose adaptation of the 1980s TV hit of the same name.


Fresh from Ryan Gosling’s success in last year’s Barbie – with his performance at the Oscars bringing him more well-earned praise – an actor initially known for his dramatic intensity is back on comic form in this TV adaptation that feels more fresh than nostalgic.

You don’t need to know anything about the Lee Majors original to enjoy watching Colt Seavers use his stunt skills to uncover a conspiracy designed to protect power – while winning back his ex-girlfriend.

There’s action, romance, comedy – and chemistry, as Gosling and Blunt bounce off each other sweetly.

Directed by a former stuntman, The Fall Guy is clearly a love-letter to the art – highlighting the brave stunt workers, who often risk their lives, behind the scenes, to make the stars look impossibly impressive – and to make the producers money. The closing credits continue to pay tribute to the art, showing the behind-the-scenes footage of this film’s stunts. Oddly, though, for a film about stunt workers, many of the stunts aren’t as spectacular as you might expect to see in – say – the Mission Impossible franchise.

It’s always fun and is bursting with memorable moments – many involving industry in-jokes; some general and others more specific, including a running gag about film quotes.

Gosling carries the film but Blunt could almost have phoned in her performance – she doesn’t do anything wrong but she’s just not given much of interest to do.

There’s a neat twist that puts an interesting perspective on Colt’s mission, but take a step back and the plot itself is oddly pedestrian, simplistic and fairly obvious. It relies too much on lazy writing and convenient coincidences but it never has particularly high ambitions, so it knows what it wants to achieve and shamelessly sets out to meet the expectations.

It’s easy-going, unchallenging fun – never inspirational but always enjoyable – and it makes you wait until the coda for the best moment; it gives us what we’d been asking for without compromising the film.