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‘The Fall Guy’ 4K UHD (digital review)

Universal Studios

 

Stuntman-turned-director David Leitch once again steps behind the camera to helm another action flick, and this time he takes his inspiration from the 80s Lee Majors-led TV show The Fall Guy, giving us a new action comedy that boasts big names and big stunts in equal measure.

Far from being the first contemporary big budget adaptation of an 80s TV show, the new The Fall Guy seeks to use only the general framework of its source material, allowing the 2024 reimagining to have its own identity and play well to the strengths of both the director as well as leads Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt.

As a result, Leitch’s The Fall Guy does not portray Colt Seavers as a stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter, instead, it utilizes the idea of a stuntman using his skill set to help him deal with a series of intense situations off the set, all of which are saturated with a sly mix of humor and good stunt work that has become synonymous with Leitch’s work as a director, and this proves to be a winning combination.

As one would expect, the stunt work is well-realized, and even though the comedic tone of the film decreases the stakes of the story and, by proxy, the impact of the stunts to an extent, the competence with which the action sequences are executed makes the film a satisfying, silly romp.

In fact, the stunts having a comical undertone underlines that the film is a love letter to both stunt work in general and action comedies in particular, which in turn helps elevate the entertainment factor in a way that feels simultaneously highly inconsequential and also brimming with commitment.

Gosling and Blunt have good chemistry, making their interactions engaging as they charmingly play their characters with a well-balanced blend of sincerity and comedy, just as it is also evident that they, along with the rest of the cast and crew, had a ton of fun making the film.

There is nothing much to be found in the ways of depth here, as the film does not seek to be serious, subversive or groundbreaking in its narrative.

Instead, the film seeks to entertain in the same way action comedies of the 80s and 90s did in that glossy, bombastic way that did not attempt to be anything more than a good time at the movies, and that is frankly something that the world of cinema has been missing lately.

This is something that other reimaginings of 80s and 90s action classics from both the small and the big screen rarely get right, and unlike films such as 2010’s lackluster feature film adaptation of 80s TV staple The A-Team, The Fall Guy manages to find a solid balance between emulating the goofy fun of old school action comedies without relying on the power of nostalgia bait to undeservedly win over its audience.

Also included on the digital release is the all-new extended cut which adds 20 minutes to the running time and features additional action sequences and jokes.

The Fall Guy does not reinvent the action genre in any way. What it does succeed at, however, is giving audiences that fun time at the cinema where the action sequences and comedy manage to intertwine in a deeply satisfying way that is so often missing from the action comedy genre nowadays, and that is more than enough reason to give Leitch’s latest a thumbs up.

Verdict: 8 out of 10

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