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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

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“The Fall Guy” (Movie Review)

It’s time to fall for “The Fall Guy,” much like Gabi Merchen did
Universal Pictures
Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt test the limits in their new movie “The Fall Guy.”

Ryan Gosling is not “just Ken” any longer. Now, he’s “just the stuntman.” What dramatic growth!   

In all seriousness, it is a truth universally acknowledged that to be a leading man in an action movie is to be adored by yours truly: Jason Statham, Tom Cruise, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, and, as of the 2021 film “Nobody” Bob Odenkirk for some reason, etc. I love them all.   

From the kidnapped daughters and dead wives that motivate them to the punching, pushing, throwing, kicking, and helicopter-jumping that they indulge in along the way, I love a good action thriller. That’s right; I’m a fan from Jason Bourne all the way to John Wick. However, I’ve never quite been clear on who the undisputed god of the genre truly is. The title of the ultimate king of modern action seems to be not only up for grabs but also hotly contested. If you’d asked me a week ago, I might’ve called it a three or four way tie. Of course, that was before I saw “The Fall Guy.”   

As much as I’ve come to love Statham, Cruise, Neeson, Damon, and Odenkirk – and they most certainly are high on the list of king contenders – after watching the 2024 film “The Fall Guy,” I would counter these fine men with my all-time nomination: Ryan Freaking Gosling!   

He may not have done all his own stunts, but I struggle to find a single flaw in his performance. Having already proven his action chops in movies like “Nice Guys” and 2017’s “Bladerunner,” Gosling is positively splendid as the titular fall guy. In this film, he reaches new heights, perhaps even hitting the mythic peak of his already considerable talent. Gosling’s portrayal of the main character was epically intense, deliciously romantic, absurdly funny, and endearing as hell.   

From the director of the John Wick franchise comes a fun-filled, fast-paced romp in the world of high-stakes action thrillers. David Leitch’s “The Fall Guy” is exactly what it said it was going to be, and I have nothing but respect for it. I’ve seen movies where there is never a dull moment before, but in “The Fall Guy,” there is nary a dull microsecond. It is filled with absolute bursting capacity with action, humor, heart, and some exceptionally well-done twists and shocking surprises. “The Fall Guy” could be one of the best action movies of recent memory.   

When I like a movie, I tend to preface it with “it’s not for everyone,” and, usually, it isn’t. However, this is the first movie where I can confidently say, “This is for everyone, and I liked it anyway.”  

I can’t even conjure up a person in my mind who I think would get no enjoyment out of the movie. From my 12-year-old brother to my 80-year-old grandmother, there is something for every single person to love in “The Fall Guy.”   

Exquisitely self-aware, the film winks at the audience just enough, never crossing the line into smarminess. Toeing the line between overdone and underutilized, the meta moments are a treat rather than the usual obligatory slog.   

The director, Leitch, used to be an actual stuntman working in Hollywood, so the movie is informed by some highly specialized real-life experience, and it shows.   

The biggest strengths of this film, aside from its stellar cast, are its specificity of subject matter and the world-class knowledge of the film’s creative leadership.   

Before the movie even started there was a lighthearted trailer/ sketch featuring Gosling and Lietch introducing the film and encouraging the audience to put their phones away. This proved an unnecessary message, as there is scarcely a moment in the movie where you could check your phone without missing something either awesome or pivotal.   

Movies about movies or anything that proclaims to be a “love letter to cinema” usually just end up making me a spirited combination of bored and nauseous. This one narrowly avoids this fate by raising the ever-heightening stakes of the story and spraying unfettered world-class expertise all over the audience.   

In short, this movie is a lonely must-see amidst a sea of this year’s skippable cinema. Go check out Gosling’s latest thriller, and trust that you will fall for “The Fall Guy” just as hard as I did.   


Gabi Merchen is a fourth-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Gabi Merchen
Gabi Merchen, Senior Writer
Gabi is a fifth-year transfer student from the University of Oklahoma (OU), now Gabi is looking to obtain her bachelor's degree in communication at USAO. She is from Yukon. She loves writing and has been contributing to local and scholastic publications since 2015. Gabi also participates in two choral groups on campus. When she isn't in class, Gabi likes to spend her time crafting, crocheting, and rewatching the same three sitcoms over and over again.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: May 2023 - present Contributing Writer: Jan. 2023 - Apr. 2023