Stunt performers are some of the most overlooked and underrated people in Hollywood. Despite a lack of recognition, they are often the reason why so many films are as exciting or adrenaline inducing as they are. Their skill, precision and dedication bring the most daring action sequences to life, and it is their passion and dedication that are at the heart of David Leitch’s new action film, “The Fall Guy.” The film follows stuntman Colt Seavers, played by Ryan Gosling, as he returns to the world of filmmaking only to find that the actor he doubles has mysteriously disappeared. 

First and foremost, this film is a love letter to the stunts, and man is it full of them. A lot of the action and choreography seems to be done practically without much use of CGI, which adds an authentic and visceral quality to the film’s most intense moments. It is truly amazing what is accomplished here with many of the film’s biggest moments being so extreme that I could not fathom the fact that they were done practically. The film really allows the stunt performers to shine and show off their amazing talents. Their commitment and dedication to their craft really elevates the film and the film really would not have come together without them. 

Outside of the stunt cast, the main performers are key to bringing the film to life. It should be well known by now that Ryan Gosling is the living embodiment of the word charisma, and that charisma radiates off the screen for every moment of his performance. Gosling strikes the perfect balance between sincerity, charm and just enough ineptitude needed for his character. He’s both a pathetic loser and an extreme badass and is able to balance these extremes with incredible authenticity. His performance wouldn’t work though without Emily Blunt. Blunt perfectly plays off of Gosling’s energy in an amazing way. In every scene she seems to hide a genuine pain behind her colder and more closed off exterior which makes her character feel much more believable than other action film characters. Her chemistry with Gosling is electric and serves as the heart of the film. They play off each other so well and their relationship makes the movie. 

The storyline is pretty bare bones and leaves a bit to be desired. The search for the missing actor is not as interesting as it could be and I found myself predicting a major revelation fairly early on. Where the story excels however is in the love story. The relationship between the two characters is incredibly believable and the film follows the standard rom-com formula in a very unique and fun way. It certainly has a much more investing and authentic love story than most standard action movies that come out these days. 

One of the elements that makes the film is its tone. Leitch is able to balance hard hitting action with some pretty great moments of comedy very well. There are a lot of laughs to be had both at the absurd nature of the plot and the witty banter between characters. The film is also extremely meta, leading to a lot of fun moments of self depreciation and awareness. All of these elements create an incredibly captivating and fun energy that keeps you at a high for most of the runtime. Where this can be harmful however, is in some of the slower moments. While there are some slower moments that work just fine, others feel like they interrupt the flow of the story. They aren’t bad per se, but their placement really slows down the film in some areas, making them feel a bit jarring and devoid of the electric energy that is present in the rest of the film.

The pacing as a whole is actually something that works against the movie. It feels a little too long and struggles to maintain its incredible momentum all the way to the end. The final action sequence in particular feels like it's a bit too much. There is a moment when it feels like the scene has come to its natural conclusion but then persists for another ten minutes. While not unwelcome, I struggled to see the point in keeping it going when there really wasn’t a need to. 

Despite its flaws though, “The Fall Guy” is a surprisingly fun and heartfelt action film led by two incredibly charismatic leads. It's a love letter to stunt performers and movie making as a whole and delivers some incredible hard hitting action sequences.  While it does lack some depth, the fun energy created by the film is too enticing to miss out on. Leitch’s latest effort is a total crowd pleaser and has something for everyone and is definitely worth watching in a theater with a large crowd.