The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★

"If you kill that man, I will never speak to you again."

As all sides of the 70s societal compass scramble to do something about yet another conflict, Shane Black's writing assaults you with more laughter than you can handle and far more empathy than you anticipated. The Nice Guys is as much a buddy comedy as it is an illustration of an America in which any side its citizens take, whether on social issues or moral quandaries, puts them directly in the paths of those who've chosen oppositely, or opposites in general. Innocence, for one, invites a loss of innocence. Detachment invites attachment. Motionlessness in life invites motion. Vulnerability invites invulnerability. A fear of killer bees invites killer bees. And when those opposites meet, like the government cracking down on hippies, the results of two opposing forces repelling each other on account of one issue, like drugs, or conspiracy theories, or pornography, are both humorous in their extravagance yet scary in their ignorance. Sure, it's funny that several people are in a gunfight over something so simple, but it's upsetting to think that people are dying and killing for that same thing. And according to Shane Black (in one of the film's funniest scenes), if you're not holding a gun, you're just playing dead.

That was messy, but there's a lot to unpack here. The (flawless) opening scene's a great place to start, if you aim to do it on your own. 

Woah, man, this shit is groovy. And yes, Christmas makes an appearance.

AdaH liked this review