BiblicalZombie’s review published on Letterboxd:
Oh yeah, I watched this. 'Spose I should review it, right? Here goes...
S'good... Amazing? Nope. It's... good. Ryan Gosling is funny, Russell Crowe is not. That's the way it's supposed to be. Buddy cop movies are best done by Shane Black, but it kinda feels like he's phoning it in here. My favourite character: The daughter. Amazing emotional range, fun personality, smart and never boring. The same cannot be said for everyone else. Which is a shame, because I loved this movie when I left the theatre, but upon reflection, the flaws are more than apparent. Now my initial experience does stand, and maybe on a second viewing, I may enjoy the flaws a little more. For now, my niggles are too big to ignore.
The pacing! Slow, fast, slow, fast, hilarious, boring, emotional, stupid, clever, inventive, lame! It's a rollercoaster! - Now this sounds like a good thing? It depends on how you read those previous sentences. This film is wonky, between the laughs and the shootouts are some very dull moments. I liked the good moments, but they were too far apart with a lot of nothing entertaining in the middle. Not to say that it's wasted time, there are moments of character and the story is always developing, but it's not exciting to watch, it's boring and done.
This is a great return to the 70s detective genre, it feels like a genre film in parts, and a modern buddy cop in other parts (and this doesn't work, it indulges in moments and then plays it safe the next, shame.)
I love the themes of the movie, however I don't like how 'chance' seems to reward Ryan Gosling whenever he steps up to the job but it completely ignores Crowe's good work ethic and ultimately sends him into a state of depression. Seems like a lazy exploitation of the "yay he did good" feeling that isn't balanced on the other side. However, I do like the idea of chance having an effect in the movie, it's a theme often untouched in modern movies. Everyone has their deep motivations and gritty consequences that moments of unexpected fortune and fun are rarely seen nowadays. So kudos Shane Black, you actually caught me off guard.
I want to rewatch this, I imagine enjoying it more the second time, but right now, I was bored and I had a good time. I'm confused. (mostly a good time, because of Gosling and the daughter)