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The Fall Guy (Christian Movie Review)

About the Film 

As evident by the parade of annual awards shows, Hollywood is not afraid to celebrate itself. Movies about filmmaking have the potential to come across as self-indulgent. But by shining a light on some of the industry’s unsung heroes, The Fall Guy avoids that pitfall. With two charismatic leads, some fresh ideas, and plenty of funny gags, The Fall Guy is an energetic, effective comedy that serves as a heartfelt love letter to cinema.    

For a film about Hollywood’s unsung heroes, I almost feel guilty for talking about the movie’s star power, but The Fall Guy succeeds largely due to the performances of its two leads. Fresh off his buzzworthy performance as Ken in last year’s Barbie, Ryan Gosling proves once again that he is a wagon to which filmmakers can hitch themselves. The Fall Guy is not a film that demands thespian acting, but Gosling showcases his range through dramatic moments, action sequences, and excellent comedic timing. Emily Blunt is also great, though she isn’t given as many moments to shine.   

The two stars have magnetic chemistry. Thankfully, the filmmakers don’t force unnecessary or contrived obstacles in the way of their rekindled romance. Despite an intentionally playful tone, their relationship feels more grounded than those typically found in romantic comedies.  

With two captivating leads, everything else merely needs to be passable. The film more than clears that low bar. It is bursting with fresh ideas. Everyone on the set of The Fall Guy clearly had a blast making the film, and that positive energy is contagious.   

The narrative of “making a film about characters making a film” allows for plenty of nods to the audience, but the mechanism never becomes an overused gimmick. Characters debate the effectiveness of using “split screen” for their movie while they themselves are talking in split screen. Colt (Gosling’s character) chides the bad guys for acting like “James Bond villains” and interrupts a lengthy monologue to remark how the third acts in a film shouldn’t get drowned in too much exposition. There is also a lengthy gag during which Colt is drugged and told the effects won’t wear off until he has “stopped seeing unicorns.” Throughout the subsequent scenes, a white unicorn is unceremoniously present in the background. These comedy beats are obviously not subtle, but they don’t feel heavy handed either.     

Tonally, the film is similar to Barbie. In fact, as someone who was not impressed by the pink side of last year’s Barbenheimer craze, The Fall Guy better utilizes its playful tone. From the opening moments, it’s clear the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. But—with a few exceptions—it doesn’t devolve into a spoof. It offers “dumb fun” without treating the audience as unintelligent.    

The film is not without faults. The script becomes increasingly convoluted. By the end of its 2+ hour runtime, it is at risk of overstaying its welcome. There is a lot of “MacGuffin chasing,” during which characters are sent on a wild goose chase tracking down a character or an important piece of information only to be sent somewhere else for answers. These detours clearly serve as mere excuses to put the characters into fun situations. Since the resulting situations are fun, it’s only a minor gripe.    

The Fall Guy is an original and effective Hollywood comedy, a success story that has become rare in recent years. Notably, outside of some profanity, the PG-13 movie is relatively clean, proving that not all Hollywood comedies must be raunchy. Fans of cinema will enjoy the many self-referential nods. Thanks to its capable stars and clever direction, there is enough to entertain general audiences as well.

On the Surface

For Consideration

Beneath The Surface

Engage The Film

Appreciating the Unsung Heroes in Cinema and Life    

The Fall Guy is clearly a commentary on the film industry. It playfully pokes fun at the industry’s stereotypical tendencies. More importantly, it lovingly celebrates some of its most underappreciated people. The movie gives the typically anonymous Hollywood stunt crews their day in the sun, even playing reels during the end credits that highlight the work of the real-life stunt people involved in making the movie.    

While the primary focus is on the entertainment industry, the theme can have a broader application. At its core, The Fall Guy is about recognizing and appreciating unsung heroes. It reminds us not to become distracted by glitz, glamor, fame, or influence but to value people who operate outside of the spotlight. The Bible frequently urges Christians not to view people through superficial earthly qualities but to treat everybody with love and respect. The film can also be a reminder to the church that those who serve behind the scenes are still making crucial contributions. 

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