SXSW 2024: ‘The Fall Guy’ Celebrates the Hard Work of Hollywood’s Thrill-Seeking Daredevils

29 April 2024 / by Nicole. Soroka
The Fall Guy Film Review
SXSW 2024: ‘The Fall Guy’ Celebrates the Hard Work of Hollywood’s Thrill-Seeking Daredevils
This record-breaking action film establishes itself as a career-best for director, David Leitch.

As movie-goers sit back in their reclinable, dark-coloured movie theatre seats, they prepare to watch movie magic unfold on the big screen. Often, countless individuals are involved in behind-the-scenes production work to make these escapes from reality a possibility. While audiences watch the actors on the screen, there are many roles they can’t see including producers, writers, cinematographers and the unsung heroes of action/adventure films; stunt performers. While many stars attempt to do a handful of their own stunts, it’s often their professional stunt doubles who complete the high-risk dares in their place. With CGI becoming more standard in films, the work of professional daredevils is slowly becoming less celebrated. That’s where The Fall Guy steps in. 


Written by Drew Pearce, directed by David Leitch and starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, Winston Duke, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Hannah Waddingham and Stephanie Hsu, The Fall Guy is one wild ride, just in time for the summer. The film is loosely based on the 1980s television series of the same name. From broken records to unmatched romantic chemistry and eye-catching stunts, this film is not to be missed on the big screen. 


The film introduces Colt Seavers (Gosling), the stunt double for mega-movie star, Tom Ryder (Taylor-Johnson). After a freak accident, Colt takes a step back from his work and leaves the film scene behind. 18 months later, Tom’s producer, Gail Meyer (Waddingham), begs Colt to return for the filming of Metalstorm and he ultimately caves. However, the greatest challenge won’t be returning to work, but rather working alongside his ex-girlfriend, and the film’s director, Jody Moreno (Blunt). As Colt steps back into the dangerously chaotic stunt life, he must work to win back Jody, all while helping Gail track down a now-missing Tom. Will Colt save Jody’s movie from disaster, and more importantly, will the pair be able to jump back into their romantic affair? 


The Fall Guy had its world premiere in Austin, Texas during the SXSW Film and TV Festival on March 12. With an incredible stunt show performance outside of the red carpet, and an appearance from the cast and crew themselves, the festival audience lit up with excitement for the film. Ahead of the film’s public release on May 3, it has received many early positive reviews, including an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 


To say that this film exceeded expectations is an understatement. One of the most impressive aspects of The Fall Guy is its ability to grab the attention of any movie-goer. On the surface, it appears as an action film, but it ranges from romantic-comedy to mystery thriller in just over two hours of run time. It’s difficult to find a film that effectively encompasses several genres at once, but this film does exactly that. 


In terms of performances, Gosling and Blunt once again prove their blockbuster status and claim the spotlight with their off-the-charts romantic chemistry. The on-screen couple have a rough start to their romantic re-connection, but once they do, their pairing is simply bliss. Following the duo’s 2023 run with “Barbenheimer,” Gosling and Blunt join forces to bring this action-adventure to life. Gosling also returns to the big screen with undeniable charisma. From the first scene until the last few seconds, the actor manages to reel the audience in with his charm and wit, all while (seemingly) completing the most dangerous stunts.


Another element that ultimately elevates this film is the choice of music. From Taylor Swift to AC/DC, The Fall Guy’s soundtrack is filled with familiar hits, worthy of accompanying this heart-pounding adventure. Yungblud’s cover of “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” takes the English singer/songwriter to new heights with his fun, fresh reimagining of Kiss’ hit of the same name. 


The Fall Guy can’t be discussed without celebrating the incredible work of the stunt performers and cinematographers behind this film. For a film that aims to shine a spotlight on stunt men and women, their goal was certainly achieved. Viewing this film is sure to give viewers a greater understanding, and appreciation, for the risks that stunt performers take each day, to make these thrilling, entertaining creations possible. The Fall Guy was entirely made without the help of computer-generated imagery (CGI), which makes the on-screen action all the more impressive. 


Gosling’s stuntman, Logan Holladay, broke the Guinness World Record for most cannon rolls in a car in a film. This resulted in a scene in The Fall Guy where Holladay, made to seem like Gosling’s character, successfully completes eight and a half cannon rolls in a modified Jeep Grand Cherokee. 


Leitch and the filmmaking team’s decision to use practical effects, rather than CGI, result in an odds-defying film that truly makes for an enjoyable watch. In another scene, Gosling’s character is being dragged behind a garbage truck through Australia’s Sydney Harbour on a sheet of metal. Instead of using CGI, Gosling took part in this stunt, closing the entire Harbour off from the public while they shot this scene. Scenes like these demonstrate this team’s impressive dedication to their craft. 


The Fall Guy is an incredible work of cinema; one that focuses on the importance of realism and celebrating everyone who makes movie magic possible. The comedy, romance, thrill and action knock it out of the park, redefining what it means to see action on the big screen. This film arrives in movie theatres just in time for summer, surely grabbing its title as the blockbuster of the season. 


Don’t miss The Fall Guy when it hits theatres on May 3.