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The Fall Guy (2024)
Fall hard.
Filmmaker(s): David Leitch

Fresh off an almost career-ending accident, stuntman Colt Seavers has to track down a missing movie star, solve a conspiracy and try to win back the love of his life while still doing his day job.

The Fall Guy (2024)

No Stuntman

This film, and every comment I’ve seen seems to not be aware of 1980s ‘The Stunt Man”. That was a similar setup, but before the noir device evolved to the comedic. In the earlier film, the fact of the stunt guy being so was part of the noir twist.

Noir in my definition is when unlikely movie-ish things happen to a normal bloke, those things are clearly so we can be entertained, and thus put us in the movie as manipulative gods. The device is made more crisp when the world we are manipulating is a literal world of movies where the making of a movie within is explicit.

‘Day for Night’ may be where we first saw this.

‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ is possibly where we first saw the device comedically, with a more French approach to noir. (It has an attack dog.)

This project uses the noir device as a joke, something in the background that allows the action/love story to proceed — and allows them the freedom to have imperfect reality. I can think of no other format that would allow exception from the ever-increasing demands for perfect FX.

I am a student of this kind of self-reference, that I map cinematically to noir, with roots in the detective story. In the last decades, that has transformed to a study of how the form is evolving — what perturbations and complexities we demand to keep pace. It seems that we enjoy maintaining multiple worlds in our personal narratives and have an increasing need to be amused by fictional overlapping worlds, with explainable ambiguities.

My young family enjoyed this as a welcome amusement, mixing action, comedy, and a familiar love story. I suppose they paid no attention at all to the self-reflective framing. For me, the framing device of the bedtime story in ‘The Princess Bride’ is key to its success. I see that effect here as well.

Quite apart from the larger framing — which is historically interesting — we have a basic episodic structure. Two episodes are interesting. One is where our hero gets drugged and hallucinates into fight mode to defeat the drug dealer’s minions. This has nothing to do with the story. The other is a massive chase through Sydney with a skip bin truck, some other bad guys, and the dog. This also has nothing to do with the story, rather an intermediate MacGuffin.

As I am in Australia and recognise the locale, it was somewhat interesting in that in-the-film, out-of-the-film way. There are a lot of cheats like this, and it gives the impression of an audience-assembled project.

Posted in 2024

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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