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SYFY WIRE The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy World Premiere at SXSW 2024: First Reviews Praise Wild Blockbuster With Heart

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt brought their action romcom star power to Austin Tuesday night.

By Matthew Jackson

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The roar of motorcycles heralded the beginning of The Fall Guy's world premiere in Austin Tuesday night, as stunt drivers rocketed up and down Congress Avenue before the film's debut to grab the attention of everyone waiting in line. Moments later, stars Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt rolled up in one of the film's signature vehicles, setting the stage for a dazzling premiere that promised everything action movie fans wanted, and more.

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Two hours later, The Fall Guy ended to cheers from the audience in The Paramount Theater, capping off the film's run as one of the headliners of the SXSW Film and TV Festival with delighted moviegoers. In the moments before the film hit the screen, Gosling and director David Leitch talked extensively about how hard they'd work to craft a love letter to action movies and, most importantly, to stunt performers like the title character, and in the audience Tuesday night, it felt like their work paid off. 

Ryan Gosling sits on the hood of a car as he's directed by Eric Laciste

What Reviews Are Saying About The Fall Guy

In the hours after the film's premiere, critics agreed, as reviews began trickling out of SXSW praising the film's action, comedy, and romance, as well as the pure star power of Gosling and Blunt. Here's what a few of the top critics in the industry said about the film:

"Still, between car chases and psychedelic drug-influenced fights, Colt also gains a greater understanding of himself and his emotions," Lovia Gyarkye of The Hollywood Reporter wrote. "What ultimately makes The Fall Guy a rare good time among big-budget studio products is its genuine heart."

"If the movie feels overstuffed, that’s because Leitch wants to give audiences more than just a taste, but the full buffet of what his trade is capable of. By the end, they can’t help but appreciate just how hard it is to make action look easy," Peter Debruge of Variety wrote.

"David Leitch’s The Fall Guy, an action-comedy mystery romance set in the world of stunt professionals, is an act of pure movie love, mixing and matching genres while tossing off in-jokes and references to its illustrious (and not-so-illustrious) forebears," Bilge Ebiri of Vulture wrote. "It’s the kind of picture that can casually use a Miami Vice Stunt Team jacket as a plot device — which of course is a reference not just to the hit 1980s TV show (and movie) but also, presumably, to Universal Studios’ short-lived, pyrotechnics-and-jet-ski-filled 'Miami Vice Action Spectacular' theme-park attraction, as well as to the fact that Ryan Gosling can make even the dorkiest jacket look ridiculously cool."

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"It’s all a fizzy, funny, convincingly romantic delight, a tribute to the craft of making big movies with big stunts that is heartfelt in its appreciation without taking itself too seriously," Adrian Horton wrote for The Guardian.

"This is popcorn filmmaking at its most cheerful and enthusiastic, driven by cheeky needle drops (the KISS disco hit 'I Was Made for Loving You' serves as an unofficial theme song), rousing action, and movie stars," Katie Rife wrote for IndieWire. "It might not give Hollywood power players any more respect for the contributions of stunt performers and coordinators, but it does put a romantic spin on their work that will continue the public’s love affair with the profession. It also ensures that we’ll continue to see a lot of Ryan Gosling in the coming months, which is never a bad thing."

The Fall Guy is in theaters everywhere May 3. Get tickets now.