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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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‘The Fall Guy’: Ode to cinema’s hidden heroes

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Nathan Rich

Ryan Gosling will return to the big screen in May — not as a bleach-blonde Ken doll, but as stuntman Colt Seavers in Universal Pictures’ upcoming movie “The Fall Guy.”

“The Fall Guy” is loosely based on the 1980s TV series of the same name. In the hit ABC series with over 100 episodes, Hollywood stuntmen double as bounty hunters, using their expertise and physical abilities to capture criminals. 

The 2024 movie follows Colt Seavers after a much-needed hiatus from dangerous stunt work. His return to cinema was prompted by past lover and coworker Jody Moreno’s directorial debut. During filming, Colt finds himself on a perilous quest to find the missing prima donna lead, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Hilarity, chaos and love ensue.

The movie is directed by David Leitch, who has solidified himself as an action expert with his work on “Bullet Train” and “Atomic Blonde.” “I do think [stuntmen are] under-recognized and I think this was really a fun way to sort of shine some light on the industry that I spent 20 plus years in, and that I love so dearly,” Leitch told SXSW as a past stuntman and stunt coordinator himself.

Gosling’s role as both a producer and protagonist of the film exemplifies his many talents in the artistic field. His character of Colt Seavers supports Gosling’s shift toward more lighthearted roles, serving as an extension of his humorous persona seen in “Barbie” this past summer. Colt’s character is vastly different from Gosling’s portrayal of the somber getaway-car-driving stuntman in “Drive.” Gosling adopts a playful demeanor and is relatable in many cases, such as a hilarious car-sob moment to Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.”

The film does not lack comedy where it excels in action. Karaoke sequences, hallucinogenic-induced unicorn visions and a French-speaking dog brought laughter and tears to the theater. The excellent banter between Jody and Colt cultivates a relaxed, unforced comedy that is scarce in action movies these days. 

Emily Blunt’s performance as Jody Moreno was authentic and lighthearted; her undeniable chemistry with Gosling elevated the film. While the film centers on Colt Seavers’s stunts and run-ins within the world of crime, Jody and Colt’s budding romance allows for some emotion in all the action. Drew Pearce, the film’s writer, reflects on the onscreen romance between the two leads. “The moment, she kind of turned up on set, and the two of them got together on camera,” he told Screen Rant Plus. It was genuinely that movie magic moment, and we were like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna be good.’” 

In “The Fall Guy,” Jody is trying to finish her first film, a “cosmic love story” titled “Metalstorm.” Jody uses her unresolved feelings toward Colt as the spirit and inspiration of her film, with “Metalstorm” mirroring the two’s current romantic predicament. Symbolic split screens and confessional megaphones are involved.  

The purpose of “The Fall Guy,” however, is not only to delight audiences with star-studded chemistry and endless explosions, but to illuminate the difficulty of stunts and pay credit to the brave people who perform these dangerous acts in real life. “They really go unrecognized, get no credit for it and they put everything on the line,” Gosling said to Screen Rant at film festival South by Southwest. “It’s just great to finally be in something that’s sort of acknowledging what they do and their contribution.”

One of the movie’s stunts broke a Guinness World Record. Filmed on the beaches of Sydney, Australia in 2022, Logan Holladay, acting as Gosling’s stunt double, broke the world record for the most cannon rolls in a car with an absurd eight-and-a-half cannon rolls. The scene is just as nerve-wracking and exciting as it sounds. 

“The Fall Guy” has comedy, romance, action and drama. Gosling and Blunt’s performances were charismatic and natural, and there was no shortage of nail-biting action. The movie will be released in theaters on May 3.

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