Movie Review: THE FALL GUY (2024) **

The Fall Guy is an extremely self-aware action movie about Hannah Waddingham’s wig, and also a stunt guy who finds himself tangled in a wee bit of a murder mystery along with his director ex-girlfriend.

I really try not to watch movies I think I’m not going to like, seeing as how I prefer to come in with enthusiastic analysis rather than criticism. I probably would have skipped this one if I’d looked up the director first, since I haven’t liked David Leitch movies in the past either. I should have suspected I simply wouldn’t like it because I’m really tired of Ryan Gosling’s Kendoll schtick.

Anyway, obviously I didn’t love it, but I think it’s a harmless movie with its heart in the right place (highlighting the stunt teams who don’t usually get nearly enough regard). But I’m going to resist the urge to write an essay about why this isn’t really a good romance, or a plot with any tension, or dialogue-related complaints; it is HARMLESS and I don’t need to go off.

Instead, let me tell you who I think will enjoy this movie:

– If you like it when you don’t feel like things might actually go wrong, and you know nobody’s ever in peril, I think you’ll like it. The action scenes are so stunt-focused and well forecast as such that it’s obvious these are just exciting tricks, like you might see at a theme park. I can see folks really loving that. It’s exciting! Good stunts are always impressive. What’s not to love there?

– Are you enjoying Ryan Gosling’s whole schtick? This movie is all of that. In fact, every actor seems to be trying to meet Ryan Gosling on that level, and they’re kind of doing his whole cadence and semi-naturalistic talking-over-each-other affable chattering.

– You know that genre where Hollywood really loves Hollywood and just makes loving movies about itself? If you like that, you’ll loooove this.

– How about self-referential humor? Where (an incredibly sexy) Winston Duke cites the action scenes he’s copying while engaging in those fights? Doing split-screen while debating if split screens are any good? Random cameos?

– If you like dogs biting crotches, this movie delivers on your behalf.

I was mostly rubbed the wrong way by this, but I really don’t see any reason it didn’t perform better at the box office. It’s extremely inoffensive and a sort of fun-oriented experience movie. I really, really thought of stunt shows at theme parks while watching it. That’s not my kind of thing. Is it yours? Then you’d probably love it. Have fun y’all.

(image source: Universal Pictures)

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