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‘The Fall Guy’ review: Light on plot, heavy on action, but deliriously entertaining

It might not be perfect, but the first blockbuster of the summer is the definition of a brilliantly mindless popcorn flick

3.0 rating

By Alastair James

Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy (Picture: Universal)

Is there a movie star who’s having more fun than Ryan Gosling right now? It’s hard to imagine so in a mad twelve months that have seen him bring the Kenergy in Barbie, *that* Oscars performance, and now in the first summer blockbuster of 2024: The Fall Guy.

In his latest cinematic outing Gosling is stunt man Colt Seavers. After sustaining an jury while filming a dramatic stunt (which Gosling, who is afraid of heights, actually shot) Colt returns to work on an upcoming movie, Metalstorm. It’s heavily inspired by Dune and The Fall Guy seems to have no trouble making that apparent.

The only problem, you see, is that Metalstorm is being directed by Colt’s former lover and first-time director Jody Moreno. The two reunite in an initially frosty exchange (on Jody’s part) but soon become reacquainted and sparks fly. But film producer Gale (Hannah Waddingham) soon reveals she brought Colt out of retirement to help track down missing movie star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor Johnson). Colt, who was Tom’s stuntman, is quickly embroiled in a plot that involves a dead man, drugs, and plenty of pyrotechnics.

Gosling, on top form here, is clearly having a great time and it really shows. Thanks to films like Barbie, The Nice Guys, and this latest outing he’s had a chance to show off his comedic chops away from more serious CV entries such as Only God Forgives and The Notebook. You could also argue that films like The Gray Man have established Gosling as a certified action star now, which this film subtly takes the piss out of.

Similarly, Blunt, who has as expansive a resumé, charms as Jody with the two stars sharing a strong on-stage chemistry. Hannah Waddingham – on her continued ascent to international treasure status – also gives us an hilariously egotistical film producer, while current RS cover star Johnson gets to join in on some of the fun in a supporting role.

The film doesn’t take itself too seriously, if you hadn’t guessed and is a great action-packed way to while away a couple of hours at the cinema. No muscles were strained in devising the film’s plot, but it fulfils its purpose as a relatively mindless adventure where you can sit back and let the madness unfold. It’s a tad long at over two hours – especially for a film that is light on plot and heavy on action – but it’s still entertaining. The first blockbuster of the summer, for the most part, absolutely delivers.