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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Twin Takes: The Fall Guy–would you believe we agreed on another movie?

A rough visual depiction of the plot of The Fall Guy.
Griffin Larson-Erf
A rough visual depiction of the plot of The Fall Guy.

Click above to listen to audio of this story!

Reed: So, we watched that new movie, The Fall Guy

Griffin: And it is phenomenal.

Reed: I agree! 

Griffin: Wait, you do? But our whole thing is that we disagree on movies! I thought we “agreed to agree” only in our review of Argylle, and that was it! 

Reed:  Well, it’s the end of the year–we’ve got nothing to lose! But first, some context. The Fall Guy is an action-comedy starring Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers, a former ace movie stuntman who has vanished from the industry following a catastrophic accident. Years afterward, producer Gail (Hannah Waddingham) calls him back in to do stunts for a movie directed by Jodie (Emily Blunt). 

Jodie and Colt were romantically involved before his accident, and Colt’s disappearance has left her heartbroken and bitter; now, Colt struggles to both complete the movie and repair his relationship with Jodie. 

Griffin: And if that wasn’t enough, he also has to go looking for the movie’s missing star, Tom Ryder…and then solve Tom’s murder, when Colt finds his corpse in a bathtub!

This movie really focuses on Colt and Jodie’s relationship. From the trailers, you might be duped into thinking it’s primarily an action-comedy–and believe me, if you’re looking for that, you will be satisfied–but the plot seems to have less to do with, say, Colt whacking someone in the stomach with a champagne bottle, than it has to do with this goofy little love story. 

Case in point: right as Colt is searching for Tom in the actor’s house, which he’s broken into, he’s interrupted by a phone call from Jodie–and they spend the next several minutes just sitting and pondering their relationship. In any other movie, this moment–in which Colt, a tough-guy stuntman, is breaking into and searching a missing actor’s house at night–would be full of tension…but in this one, it goes in a different, much sweeter direction. 

Reed: I’m very intrigued by the fact that romance is so important for Colt, a male lead. It’s so cool that he, a typically macho movie stuntman who can drive a motor boat with his hands literally tied behind his back, still wants a romantic “happy ending” with Jodie. I do have to wonder, though: what is it between Jodie and Colt that attracts them to each other? The film focuses heavily on their attempts to get back together, but doesn’t really say much about why they ever were together to begin with.

Griffin: I think you miss the point: the audience is supposed to think less about why Colt and Jodie love each other, and more about how good it feels to see them together. That’s a testament to how the characters are drawn: Jodie is an eyes-on-the-prize film director whose illogical romantic side Colt brings out; meanwhile, he, for all his stuntman swagger, is also capable of awkwardness, yearning, obsession, vulnerability–and just simply being fun. These two strike a perfect balance as fictional characters: they’re human enough to make them sympathetic, but not so true-to-life that one forgets they’re part of a movie.

Reed: Nor is it only the nice characters who are well-acted–indeed, some of this movie’s strength is in its jerks. Hannah Waddingham does a great job of selling Gail, a producer whose real focus is always on getting results for the studio that’s producing Jodie’s movie (and thereby saving her own neck). Likewise, Tom Ryder is self-centered, insensitive, and obviously drunk on his own press.

Griffin: Just as much as this is a movie about love or lousy people, it’s also about the film industry–especially stuntpeople, who are honored in a montage of memorable stunt scenes at the film’s beginning, and who are the heroes of its climax. This film gives an enjoyable inside look at how a film comes together–complete with hilarious moments like stunt coordinator Dan disparaging one of the stunts Jodie has planned while talking to Colt, only to turn around and be complementary to Jodie’s face. Conversely, nearly all the major tension in this movie comes from keeping the film studio happy: Gail initially gets Colt to search for Tom, for example, so that the studio won’t discover how greatly she’s exceeded the project’s budget. 

Reed: Hannah Schau, Junior, told us, “It starts out like it’s a basic love movie, and then it’s twist after twist after twist. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and the ending was so amazing.”

Griffin: Enough said, I believe. It’s our last sum-up of the year: care to do the honors, Reed?

Reed: I certainly do! The Fall Guy–it more than sticks the landing!

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About the Contributors
Griffin Larson-Erf
Griffin Larson-Erf, Reporter
Griffin Larson-Erf is a junior at Niles North High School. When not writing for North Star News, he can be found reading, writing fiction, and being confused for his twin brother.
Reed Larson-Erf
Reed Larson-Erf, Reporter
Reed Larson-Erf is a Junior at Niles North, joining North Star News for the first time this year. He enjoys reading, writing, watching Doctor Who and Arnold Schwartzenegger movies, and any chance he gets to make his friends laugh.

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