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The Fall Guy effortlessly kicks off the summer movie season

Stuntman turned action maestro director David Leitch reunites with his "Hobbs & Shaw" screenwriter Drew Pearce to bring a hit eighties TV show to the big screen in "The Fall Guy" from Universal Pictures. 

Colt Seavers (Ryan Gosling), a battle-scarred stuntman who left the business a year earlier to focus on his physical and mental health, is drafted back into service when Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), the star of a mega-budget studio movie being directed by his ex, Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt), goes missing.

The film's ruthless producer (Hannah Waddingham) maneuvers to keep Tom's disappearance secret from the studio and the media; Colt performs the film's most outrageous stunts while trying (with limited success) to charm his way back into Jody's good graces. But as the mystery around the missing star deepens, Colt becomes entangled in a sinister, criminal plot that will push him to the edge of a fall more dangerous than any stunt.

As a child of the 1980s, I don't recall ever viewing "The Fall Guy" television series, even though I was a big fan of Lee Majors' macho charisma after discovering his role in reruns of "The Six Million Dollar Man." Nonetheless, I am familiar with the general plot of the series, which followed the adventures of a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter and eagerly anticipated the film adaptation's release. 

The film is directed by David Leitch, a former stuntman who has made a name for himself as a director in big-budget action flicks. For this project, he reunites with Drew Pearce to craft a story that pays homage to the original TV series and the unsung heroes of the movie industry – the stunt performers. 

As the lead in the film, Ryan Gosling, a versatile and acclaimed actor, provides a fresh and captivating perspective. Gosling's charming and charismatic portrayal of the character Colt allows the audience to root for him wholeheartedly throughout the movie. As a film enthusiast, I found Emily Blunt's portrayal of a director who is a confident woman in a male-dominated industry to be particularly noteworthy. Despite her challenges, she remains steadfast in her determination to achieve her goals.

The supporting cast, including Hannah Waddingham and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, also deliver commendable performances. Waddingham's depiction of a ruthless producer and Taylor-Johnson's portrayal of a spoiled movie star are remarkable. However, Winston Duke's portrayal of Dan Tucker, Colt's best friend and stunt coordinator, stands out as a unique and engaging character. Duke avoids the stereotypical "magical negro" trope, and his portrayal of a stunt coordinator who engages in action scenes is genuinely memorable and captivating. I sincerely hope he receives the opportunity to lead his own franchise soon.

The film's action sequences are breathtaking, and its emphasis on showcasing stunt performers' hard work and talent is evident in every frame. The performers' dedication and hard work are highlighted throughout the movie, and the final product is a testament to their expertise and professionalism.

 "The Fall Guy" is a thrilling and action-packed tribute to the original series that will appeal to both show fans and newcomers alike.

Final Grade: A

"The Fall Guy" opens in theaters tonight.


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