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Ryan Gosling plays a stuntman in entertaining thriller: NPR

Ryan Gosling is the Colt Seavers in The guy who hits the spot.

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Ryan Gosling is the Colt Seavers in The guy who hits the spot.

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From the 1933 action film Lucky Devils to the 1980 comedy-thriller The stuntman at Quentin Tarantino Once upon a time… in Hollywoodfilmmakers have long enjoyed turning the camera on stuntmen, the professional daredevils who risk their lives to make action scenes convincing.

It’s a difficult, often thankless job, which is why for years people have been lobbying the film academy to award an Oscar for his stunts. And of course, it’s dangerous work: last month, while filming the Eddie Murphy movie The pick-upseveral crew members were injured during a stunt involving two moving cars.

There’s plenty of vehicular mayhem in this loud and entertaining new action comedy The guy who falls just in timeRyan Gosling plays a highly skilled stuntman named Colt Seavers, who, despite his cynical film noir-style voiceover, actually loves his job.

Colt loves movies and making movies, he loves throwing himself off balconies and strapping himself into automobiles that are about to be destroyed. Most of all, he loves Jody Moreno, a promising assistant director played by Emily Blunt, and she loves him back.

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt star in The guy who hits the spot.

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Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt star in The guy who hits the spot.

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Colt works primarily as an understudy for Tom Ryder, a world-famous movie star played by a preening Aaron Taylor-Johnson. But when Colt suffers a life-threatening injury on set, he leaves the business in despair and ghosts Jody for over a year while he recovers. But then he learns that Jody is making a big-budget sci-fi film in Sydney and wants him to be Tom’s stunt double again. However, upon arriving in Holland, Colt discovers that Jody did it. not ask him and have no idea why he’s here.

The reason for Colt’s appearance on set is a mystery in a gleefully absurd thriller plot crafted by screenwriter Drew Pearce. There’s also a body in a bathtub, an incriminating cell phone, and several amusing supporting characters, including a busy producer played by Hannah Waddingham from Ted Lasso fame.

Another key player is Colt’s best friend and stunt coordinator, Dan, played by the always excellent Winston Duke. In an endearing running gag, Colt and Dan continue to quote classic movie dialogue like The Last of the Mohicans, The fugitive And The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the whole The guy who falls just in time dizzily attempts to surpass its volume of death-defying chaos.

Before long, Colt isn’t just performing stunts. He’s forced to put his well-honed survival skills to good use off-set, whether it’s beating up thugs in a nightclub, punching bad guys in a helicopter, or getting thrown in the back seat of a garbage truck at high speed. It’s one of several set pieces that director David Leitch chose to shoot using practical techniques rather than CGI – a decision that gives this stunt-centric film an undeniable integrity.

The guy who falls just in time is undoubtedly a passion project for Leitch, who has previously worked as an understudy for actors such as Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme. (He nods as he gives Colt a handy canine companion named Jean-Claude.) Leitch can direct the action wonderfully, as he did in Charlize Theron’s smash-’em-up. Atomic Blonde. But he can also exaggerate too flamboyantly, as in sloppier recent efforts like High-speed train And Hobbs & Shaw. The guy who falls just in time is better than those two, but it would have been even better with cleaner action, tighter editing, and a runtime south of two hours.

Blunt is such a good comedian and action star that it’s a shame she doesn’t have more to do in either department; Jody may be in the director’s chair, but as a character she’s very much a second banana. The guy who falls just in time is Gosling’s photo. Unlike the brooding, taciturn stuntmen in which the actor starred To drive And The place Beyond the Pines, Colt is a wonderfully expressive idiot. There’s a moment here, after a fiery boat chase around Sydney Harbour, where Colt emerges triumphant from the water, clothes dripping and muscles bulging, while a euphoric cover of ‘I Was Made for Lovin’ You” by Kiss pops up for the umpteenth time. soundtrack. It’s ridiculous and gloriously overwrought – and like the best-executed stunts, it comes dangerously close to movie magic.

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