Alex’s review published on Letterboxd:
The negativity I've seen towards Shane Black's The Nice Guys mostly centers on the films lack of depth or "meaning". There's no doubt it's a breezy, light-weight film, but I have absolutely no problem with that. It's as enjoyable and funny film as I've seen in a while, which is ultimately what I imagine Black was after.
As well as Black's consistently witty script, the film works so well because of the cast. Russell Crowe does at times feel miscast, but he has his moments and has strong chemistry with his co-stars. But it is Ryan Gosling who owns the film. Getting his first real chance to show his excellent comedic timing after previous glimpses in the likes of Lars and the Real Girl (not to mention in dramas such as Blue Valentine and The Ides of March), he is hilarious. Given strong material to work with, he delivers it all perfectly as well as providing physical comedy only the best can pull off.
The other revelation is young Aussie actress Angourie Rice as Gosling's daughter. In one of the more interesting father-daughter relationships I've seen, she has to be both the put out kid and an astute detective. She always provides the film with a bit of bit of a third dimension; ensuring it was more than just a cynical buddy-film. Its a strong role that needed someone with real talent and they found a good one.
Those looking for something groundbreaking should stay away, but as a likable and humorous throw-back, there hasn't been many as good as this in the last few years.
Highlight: Gosling's toilet troubles
Lowlight: Ten or so minutes could have easily been cut
Best in Show: Gosling