Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling, left) attempts to woo Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt, right) with his cool-guy stunts as he tightens the rope on her sunhat in The Fall Guy I Agents of Fandom

SXSW 2024: Ryan Gosling & Emily Blunt Stun(t) on Screen in ‘The Fall Guy’

The latest from David Leitch is everything you want out of an action rom-com — big stunts, bigger movie stars, and humor that never fails.

One of the biggest headliners of SXSW 2024 is Universal’s The Fall Guy, the new rom-com action flick starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and many others. Simply put, it’s the most fun you’ll have at a movie theater this year as it passionately puts together an action-filled love letter to stunt teams, movie makers, and Gosling’s ridiculous good looks.

What Is David Leitch’s ‘The Fall Guy’ About?

Ryan Gosling has explosions happening behind him as he poses in a cowboy hat and shimmering jacket in The Fall Guy I Agents of Fandom
Ryan Gosling never fails to disappoint, and The Fall Guy is no different. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The Fall Guy, from director David Leitch, follows stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling) as he rebounds from a back-breaking injury that put a hard stop on his illustrious career doubling for the most famous movie star in the world, Tom Ryder (Taylor-Johnson). As he navigates his way back to the world of stunt doubling, he faces the realities and traumas of abruptly ending his impassioned fling with now-first-time director Jody Moreno (Blunt).

After Gail (Hannah Waddingham) convinces Colt that Jody wants him to be the stunt double in her new movie, the fallout of their prior “flingette” surfaces through amusing and awkward encounters. For example, Jody hilariously tries to confront Colt in front of the entire cast (dressed up in full-body alien costumes, by the way) of the film she is working on, Metalstorm, by having him set on fire and thrown against a wall more times than any stuntman should.

Once Tom Ryder, the star of Metalstorm, goes missing, Colt is sent to find him, bring him back to set, and finish the film. However, he becomes instantly entrenched in a dark, deceptive underworld that Ryder has gotten himself mixed up with. Explosions, intrigue, and hilarity ensue as Colt tries to stay alive, find Ryder, and get Jody to fall back in love with him all at once.

What makes The Fall Guy work so well is its balance of these focuses, never sacrificing character evolution or the love story for bigger, wilder stunt set pieces, and vice versa. Leitch weaves together a completely coherent, and at times emotional, narrative with on-set movie stunts that look, well, straight out of a movie.

A Star-Studded Cast Brings the Magic to ‘The Fall Guy’

Ryan Gosling riding a piece of metal on a street with cars holding onto a tank in the Fall Guy | Agents of Fandom
As if Ryan Gosling didn’t have enough, he uses cool ass stunts for romance in The Fall Guy. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Ryan Gosling is something special in this movie. I’d go so far as to say he is better in this than he is in Barbie. Hot take, I know. But a true take. He brings his classic, self-aware humor to the script, pulling off nearly every single one-liner and movie-length bit with jaw-dropping ease. Mix that with Emily Blunt’s unparalleled on-screen charisma and the chemistry between the two in the film surpasses any expectations that you may have walking into the movie.

Winston Duke and Stephanie Hsu, while admittedly in smaller roles, each bring their unique energy to the script with Duke pulling off, in my opinion, some of the funniest jokes in the film by consistently referencing inspirational movie quotes in the most obscure situations. As for Aaron Taylor-Johnson — we need to get him in more projects like this. Period. His energy, and Matthew McConaughey impression, are extra sticks of dynamite to the already explosive cast chemistry.

For what feels like a pure summer blockbuster with movie stars and big set pieces, the cinematography, from Jonathan Sela, is surprisingly well executed; the film kicks off with a smooth one-shot — a perfect tone-setting artistic decision that only elevates the overall quality of the project. This ode to cinema — and more specifically the crews behind the camera — comes across authentically, providing a feeling of care, investment, and attention to detail in a film that otherwise could’ve been another run-of-the-mill, lackluster blockbuster.

And it never lets up. It persists throughout the entirety of the adrenaline-filled adventure. The movie understands itself and exactly what it is aiming to be, infusing Taylor Swift over romantic moments along with brain-bashing stunts and self-aware commentary on movies in general. It covers all the bases and rounds home with verve and energy.

The Fall Guy presents the very best in what an action rom-com can be — true movie stars in Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, a passionate surrounding cast, unbelievable stunts, and an intriguing storyline that never lets up on the humor-fueled gas. When this hits theaters on May 3rd nationwide, strap in for an incredibly fun theatrical experience that’ll leave you wanting to revisit it time and time again.

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'The Fall Guy' SXSW 2024 Review

'The Fall Guy' SXSW 2024 Review
4 5 0 1
Total Score

The Good

  • The chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt is authentic and palpable.
  • A love letter to stunt performers and movie makers — the stunts are big, bold, and bitchin'.
  • An undeniably fun movie theater experience.

The Bad

  • Self-awareness can be grating if you don't mesh with the humor.
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