The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★½

Ryan Gosling screaming at the pitch of a prepubescent choir boy has to be one of the funniest things ever put to film. 

The Nice Guys feels like one of those movies plucked straight from the time period it was set in. Bad hair, worse clothes, constant smoking, and equally constant consumption of alcohol. Every detail felt period accurate, an element I always enjoy in film. But I really wasn’t here for that: I was here for some damn fine Shane Black writing and two great turns from Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. In regards to the writing, it’s sharp as a tack, and witty as all hell. So many great one liners and deliveries, you could tell Black was in his wheel house (having been a detective in real life, I believe). The manner in which he incorporated the surrealism felt natural too. The bee dream sequence kind of surprised me at first, but once I was able to connect the dots, I was in a fit of uproarious laughter. You could say that about many parts in this movie. 

Now I already love the two leads, and The Nice Guys serves as a testament to each actor’s surprising abilites as thespians. Russell Crowe and Gosling play off each other as though they were brothers, with their constant picks and barbs. Gosling, shoot man, I think he was better here than in La La Land. I knew he was good, but never knew how truly physically funny he could become. His fits of hysterical sobbing took the cake for me, man. And Crowe, an actor in my top five favorite of all time, was also the best he’s been in years. I loved their chemistry, truly one of the best “buddy” films in a very long time. 

Not really sure what kept it from being a five star for me. Perhaps future rewatches will bump it up. But hey, it’s pretty damn great regardless.