The Fall Guy (2024) a (for the most part on time) review

Early into this summer movie season, things are looking scary for Hollywood.

The first attempt at a big crowd pleasing hit was the Ryan Gosling/Emily Blunt film The Fall Guy. Based on a (I strongly suspect) mostly forgotten by today’s youth TV show originally featuring Lee Majors, this is the movie’s amusing trailer:

Frankly, I thought this film, and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, released a couple of weeks afterwards, would do pretty well at the box office.

They did not.

Unfortunately both films have underperformed and are likely to be considered box office “bombs”, this despite mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. To be clear: I’ve read some people here and there who have not liked the films. Some were very negative on them both. However, it seemed the bulk of people who posted about both films liked them and are bewildered by why both films have underperformed so badly.

The worry is that perhaps movie theaters themselves may be in trouble.

That’s a topic for another time, though so let’s focus on The Fall Guy.

For those who don’t know, actor Lee Majors had quite the career, though mostly in television. His first big role was in the TV show The Big Valley but it was mostly an ensemble cast and a show that hewed to another big TV hit, Bonanza. In the early 1970’s he starred in the very popular sci-fi/action series The Six Million Dollar Man. He had a few roles in movies but his movie career never quite took off like his TV one. In the 1980’s, he starred, along with the gorgeous Heather Thomas, in the TV show The Fall Guy which is the basis of the just released Gosling/Blunt film…

The theme song, by the way, was sung by Lee Majors as well! (The version on the movie is sung by Blake Sheldon).

Anyway, I got to see The Fall Guy in theaters this past weekend in what was likely its final theatrical run. The film, astonishingly, did so poorly and studios were so down on it that it can already be bought digitally through the various streaming services.

Anyway, I saw the film and… it was a fun, sugary confection that accomplished what it set out to do: Give audiences a fun time.

It ain’t Citizen Kane but it was never meant to be!

The plot involves Colt Seavers (Gosling) romancing up and coming director Jody Moreno (Blunt) but getting into a bad accident that knocks him out of the stuntman game… at least temporarily. Then, he’s called back in and hijinks ensue when he’s asked to find the missing leading man in the motion picture Moreno is directing… and can make or break her career.

The banter is pleasant, the stunts fun, and Gosling and Blunt have charisma to burn.

Again, it isn’t a “classic” or terribly deep (though I did appreciate the fact that they managed to get the full meaning of the term “fall guy” used in the film!) but it’s a fun time killer.

Too bad audiences stayed away. I think they would have had a fun time with The Fall Guy.