Cert: 15 Runtime: 116 mins Director: Shane Black Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qually, Keith David and Kim Basinger
So you’re telling me you made a porno where the plot is the point?
When I initially saw the trailer for the Nice Guys, I had no intention on watching the film. It wasn’t until I noticed that Shane Black had written and directed this film! Black is the king of the buddy comedy and it has received a lot of positive reviews and feedback. I never would of thought of paring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in a movie together, but I do trust Shane Black. so what is The Nice Guys about? Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a down-on-his-luck private eye barely scraping a living in 1970s Los Angeles. Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) is a tough guy enforcer who thinks with his fists. When these two polar opposites are unexpectedly thrown together in the search for a missing girl, a darkly hilarious and fast-moving mystery unfolds as they plunge ever further into the city’s seedy, neon-inflected underbelly.
Shane Black doing what he excels at the most and doing it at the very best: “The Nice Guys” is funny, smart, action packed, violent, irreverent, thrilling and entertaining all at the same time without ever having tonal shift problems, it moulds so many elements into one cohesive package. Crowe and Gosling light up the frame with an overwhelming energy, this is something we haven’t seen in quite some time. Their job might be overlooked and discounted by some, but this is nothing short of genius, the way in which these two actors bring to life this story is illuminating, their timing, their banter, their personal dynamic, it is all in the brilliant script. I mean they just had to look at each other for me to curl up laughing stupid. They don’t have a false beat. And when you try to look back and think of who was better as soon as you point to one, you feel like you’ve made the wrong choice. Crowe’s stoicism is played to perfection and when he boils up it pays off incredibly. Then there’s Gosling showed comedic chops I didn’t know he had. The way he moves is enough to make you marvel and laugh at what he’s doing, he has multiple moments of physical comedy that had me rolling on the floor, not to mention his witty, smart-ass dialogue that he nails. Angourie Rice is a revelation, she steels the movie from Crowe and Gosling so well it feels like this movie is about the three of them together.
Shane Black’s screenplay presents us a group of characters that are brilliantly well written and developed and tied into a plot that is absorbing and crazy. I don’t know if this film is better written or directed because the two crafts combine seamlessly in this picture. There are so many moving elements and Black keeps up with all of them without ever leaving the audience behind or making them loose interest. He makes these characters move through Los Angeles and between a million easter eggs that I’m sure I missed half of, the locations give the film a whole other level of fascination, it has one of the best party scenes in recent memory. Does it have faults? Or course: it can occasionally digress into 70s visual extravaganza just for the sake of it, the plot is thrilling and all, yet come to really think of it, unfortunately, it comes apart slightly too easily, but these are all details that have to be addressed, yet they did not take away from the overall experience. The Nice Guys and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang would be a great double feature!