On Screen: “The Fall Guy”

The Fall Guy

After appearing on many TV talk shows, it’s obvious that Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are playful co-stars and had great fun filming their new action comedy “The Fall Guy.” So it’s too bad that the film kind of fizzles.

Loosely based on a similarly titled TV series, it revolves around the trials and tribulations of movie stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling), who has been working for years doubling for Hollywood superstar Tom Ryder, (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who claims he does all his own death-defying stunts.

(Despite disclaimers, it’s obvious whom Tom is meant to satirize.)

Colt is madly in love with camera operator Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), who yearns to be a director. But after Colt breaks his back during a precarious jump from atop a building, he becomes a bitter recluse, ignoring Jody and other friends.

18 months later, Colt gets a call from Tom’s producer, Gail Meyer (Hannah Waddingham from “Ted Lasso”), offering him a job in Australia on “Metalstorm,” a new sci-fi action picture directed by Jody, who is finally getting her big break.

Hoping to re-ignite their romance, Colt arrives on the set only to discover that Jody is still furious at him for alienating himself from her during his recovery.

Meanwhile, Gail tasks Colt with locating Tom, who has disappeared. If the studio discovers he’s missing, they’ll pull the plug on the film which is already over budget. The plot twists even more when Colt discovers a dead body in Tom’s bathtub and becomes a murder suspect in a sinister conspiracy.

Scripted by Drew Pearce as a screwball romance, it’s directed by David Leitch (“Bullet Train”), who has stunt-doubled for Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Jean-Claude Van Damme, among others. So the over-the-top action sequences work well, particularly a spectacular boat chase around Sydney Harbor.

The timing is right — since the Academy is considering adding a new Oscar category for stunt work, and Ryan Gosling had four stunt doubles (Ben Jenkins, Justin Eaton, Logan Holladay, Troy Brown) creating his daredevil antics.

FYI: The CBS-TV series (1981-86) starred Lee Majors, who does a bit with Heather Thomas during the closing credits. Plus there are other ‘surprise’ cameos.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Fall Guy” is a slick, superficial, nonsensical 6, playing in local theaters.


Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures. Her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M.

As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O’Brien, and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism.

During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie and drama critic, syndicating her reviews and articles around the world, including Video Librarian. She has appeared on American Movie Classics and Turner Classic Movies. In 2017, her book 150 Timeless Movies was published by Hannacroix Creek Books. Her website is www.susangranger.com.

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