Director: Shane Black
The Nice Guys is a hugely enjoyable comedy which gives Russell Crowe & Ryan Gosling a chance to show what they can do in a genre we’re not accustomed to seeing them in, comedy.
Set in the seventies the two leads are thrown together in true buddy cop movie style. They’re not cops though. Holland March (Gosling) is a bumbling yet apparently quite effective private investigator whilst Jackson Healy is more your muscle for hire protector type character. Their paths cross when separate cases they are working on are both connected to the apparent suicide of a fading porn star, Misty Mountains.
Just prior to writing this I had seen Russell Crowe on The Last Leg talking about the movie. He commented about others remarking on the real on-screen chemistry between himself and Ryan Gosling. He described Gosling as a “funny bastard”. Having seen the film I can see what he meant and people complimenting them on the chemistry are not wrong to do so. They bounce off each other incredibly well. Crowe puts this down to listening to what the other is doing and taking it on from there. It certainly seems to work.
Shane Black has obviously worked very hard on the script for this movie and it must have been very satisfying to see his leads bring it to the screen so well.
The tone of the movie is as you would expect when one of the key elements of the story is the porn industry and that this is a comedy film. That said, the plot doesn’t suffer in favour of just getting laughs. It’s well thought out and doesn’t necessarily take you where you think you’re going. It’s a bright movie, plenty of parties featuring half-naked women, swimming pools, drink and drugs not to mention plenty of bad language and a good sprinkling of violence.
It’s very much in the mould of 48 Hours or, perhaps, Midnight Run. With those you had Nolte & Murphy and De Niro and Grodin. Comedy partnerships that just worked and gave you highly enjoyable adult comedies of which, in my humble opinion, there just aren’t enough of in modern cinema.
It was also nice to see Kim Basinger on screen with Russell Crowe again although it was probably best her screen time was kept to a minimum as she was having something of an off day.
If you like a loud, sweary action-comedy look no further than The Nice Guys.
Verdict: 4/5 stars