The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★½

"I had to question the mermaids." (Holland March)

Even as a big fan of Ryan Gosling's minimalist performances, I have to say the portrayal of Holland March is his greatest artistic achievement so far. It's a comedy performance for the ages, one that should've resulted in Gosling being showered with awards. Naturally it was overlooked because a) it's a comedy and b) that same year he also starred in fucking La La Land, which is a good but evidently lesser performance. Since we're dealing with a bunch of old farts and highbrow nincompoops, the choice they made really came to no-one's surprise, though.

After his commercially successful foray into the tentpole world, Shane Black returned to his roots and created one of the greatest buddy movies of the 21st century. It's just what he does best. Some filmmakers cover a wide range of genres and stuff and do it well, while others have very particular strengths, that make them stand out. Black's forte is writing great characters and snappy dialogue. Take that mermaid line for instance. If said by anybody else than a character like Holland March, it has the potential to be disastrously unfunny, yet in the context of this movie it's brilliant. When you gotta question the mermaids, you gotta question the mermaids.

Since The Nice Guys was a box office failure, the chances of seeing Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe - who has the less showy role as the thug with a heart, but is just as good and important as his co-star - team up again for another twisty noir detective tale set in the sleazy underworld of Los Angeles, are slim. I wish I could hire Crowe's Jackson Healy to deliver a message to all the movie fans, who didn't see The Nice Guys on the big screen. You're bigger buffoons than Holland March.

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