80s Reboot: The Fall Guy Movie

Fall Guy Modern poster

There were many great action TV series in the 80s; The A-Team, Miami Vice, Airwolf, Street Hawk, Magnum P.I. and The Fall Guy. I watched them all, some more than others. The Fall Guy was a Wednesday night staple, watch The Fall Guy and off to bed. It was a good show with great action and stunts. Perfect for a young boy in the 80s.

The Fall Guy TV series ran for five season on ABC from 1981 until 1985. It starred Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man) as Colt Seavers a Hollywood stuntman by day and bounty hunter by night. Rounding out the cast was Douglas Barr as Howie, a stuntman in training and Heather Thomas, as Jody Banks a stuntwoman. Markie Post from Night Court fame played Terri in the final four seasons. Terri is the bail bondsman who sends Colt on assignments.

The Fall Guy TV Cast

Majors gave the show star power, Barr added a bit of comic relief, Thomas added a nice feminine touch and was every boys dream girl. When she walked through the saloon doors in the shows intro eyes were popping out of heads all across the country.

The Fall Guy was filled with lots of action and great stunts. It was a successful TV show for four years ranking in the top 20 every year. In 1985 ABC moved The Fall Guy to Thursday nights, putting it head-to-head with Magnum P.I. It didn’t stand a chance and the ratings dropped like a rock. It finished the year in the 80th spot and the show was canceled.

What show did ABC put in the Wednesday night time slot? A new show called MacGyver.

When I first heard about The Fall Guy reboot I was excited. With Ryan Gosling attached there was a chance it could be good. At the time of the announcement he was coming off the action thriller, The Gray Man. In between The Gray Man and The Fall Guy he played Ken in the Barbie movie.

When I heard David Leitch was directing I was immediately intrigued. Leitch is behind some of the best actions movies in the last decade; John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Hobbes & Shaw, Bullet Train, the list goes on.

Then I watched the trailer for The Fall Guy and I was left feeling… well I’m not sure. I wasn’t as excited by the trailer as I had hoped. Doubt was creeping in.

Now it’s here, The Fall Guy is out and ready for the masses. Let’s see if it’s worth the ride.

I went into The Fall Guy movie fully expecting to be disappointed yet again by another 80s reboot. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to spend the money to see it. Maybe I should wait until it hits a streaming service? I couldn’t have been more wrong! I loved this movie from the opening song blasting “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” by KISS, to the opening homage to stuntmen and the original series, all the way to the stunt fueled finale.

There’s no real comparison between the movie and the TV show. I can sum up the comparison in one sentence. There is a stuntman named Colt Seavers who still drives a kick-ass GMC K-2500 and a women named Jody. Nothing else is the same, except for the high-octane stunt work. There’s no bounty hunting, Howie or Terri but as we find out, the movie doesn’t need those elements.

Ryan Gosling plays Colt Seavers a Hollywood stunt-man sidelined by an on-set injury. Emily Blunt plays Jody Moreno, film director and Colt’s love interest. Here’s the spoiler-free synopsis:

A stuntman working on his ex-girlfriend’s directorial debut action film, only to find himself involved in a conspiracy surrounding the film’s lead actor.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (The King’s Man) plays Tom Ryder, Hollywood superstar. Colt is Tom’s stunt double. Tom Ryder is a mix of current Hollywood superstars, like Tome Cruise and Brad Pitt. Only, he’s unique enough to not lean heavily into mocking a specific star. It’s a general take on the big I-do-my-own-stunts superstars.

The Fall Guy Cast

Winston Duke (Black Panther, Spencer Confidential) plays Dan Tucker, stunt coordinator and Colt’s best friend and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) plays movie producer Gail Meyer. Waddingham is almost unrecognizable as Meyer, she plays a great role.

Gosling does a great job playing Colt. He’s charming, funny, an expert at his job and a little over his head when it comes to investigating crime. The character of Jody is changed from a stuntwoman to a film director. It works in the context of the movie. Had it been two stunt performers the dynamic wouldn’t have been the same.

fall guy blunt

Gosling and Blunt have good chemistry making their relationship believable and not forced. Both have good comedic timing and seem to enjoy the characters they’re playing.

The movie is written by Drew Pearce who previously wrote Iron Man 3, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. The writing for The Fall Guy is good. The story moves along nicely, even if there are some plot holes. The jokes are well timed and funny. Although some of them go on a little too long. (I’m looking at you hotel key card scene) .

I laughed out loud when Colt put a seat belt on the dog and told him to ‘engage your core’ just before jumping his GMC Pickup truck in a great call back to an iconic jump from the original series. The pickup is the 2024 version of the GMC truck from the TV series and has the same color scheme as the original truck. It looks fantastic… and I might need to go buy a new truck.

The Fall Guy GMC

Let’s talk about the real star of the movie, the stunts. Directed by a former stuntman The Fall Guy is full of massive, adrenaline pumping stunts. One of the stunts even set a Guinness World Record for most cannon rolls by a car!

The fight scenes are inventive and enjoyable. They’re not filmed in the current standard of fast cuts and sloppy edits to make the star look good. They are shoot with a wider angle, allowing the punches and kicks to land letting the audience appreciate the action. This is accomplished with a good fight choreographer and good stuntmen. The Fall Guy has both.

The night club fight scene was one of my favorites, the lighting and costumes add to the chaos of a bar fight.

The vehicle stunts are truly spectacular. They leave nothing out, cars, trucks, boats, helicopters, garbage trucks, yes garbage trucks. Dizzying rolls, massive jumps, high falls, people on fire and explosions, lots of explosions are just the tip of the stunt iceberg.

There’s even a stunt dog! Colt is reunited with a stunt dog from his past leading to some funny moments and a worthy, trusty sidekick. Maybe the dog is the replacement for Howie?

Leitch is able to balance the action and rom-com aspects to make an entertaining movie. The story falls apart a bit toward the end of the second act and Blunt, unfortunately is under utilized for parts of the movie. It picks back up for the final act with lots more action.

As much as I loved KISS playing the open of the movie I wished it was the original theme song playing instead. Also they updated the theme song with Blake Shelton singing. It’s OK. It seems a beat or two slower and the lyrics are different. I prefer the original.

They made a few different movie posters for The Fall Guy. the ‘modern’ version is OK, mostly boring. I really like the 70s & 80s vibe of the posters below.

The Fall Guy comes in at 2 hours 6 minutes. It could have taken a lesson from the 80s action movies and whittled the running time down. There are parts that slow down the movie and with a tighter script it could shave off 20-30 minutes and not lose anything.

You can’t compare the movie to the original TV series and that’s OK. It shares the basic premise and runs with the idea. The Fall Guy movie is fantastic. Any fan of 80s action movies won’t be disappointed. There are so many call backs to not only the original TV series but other 80s action movies and TV shows.  

Go to the theater, grab a giant tub of popcorn and enjoy The Fall Guy. Oh, don’t forget to watch the end credits too.

I give this movie a big thumbs up!

The Fall Guy Thumbs Up
About Pitfall Gary 127 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.

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