The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★

Championed as one of the martyrs of 2016 cinema, The Nice Guys received plenty of praise from critics and film geeks while mostly being ignored by the general audience. Did it deserve to be shrugged off?

The Nice Guys is certainly aware of its own personality, drowning itself in the culture of 70s Hollywood and calling to mind the seemingly bygone age of the buddy cop film. However, it can't get by on charm alone, especially when the core narrative and structure is shaky at best. There's a noticeable lack of focus in several scenes, and the details, which should be important in a detective story, don't always line up properly. The script has a lot of word play, but not all of it lands, particularly in moments that are structured as comic but just delay the plot movement.

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling make for a solid comedic pairing, with some great chemistry and timing. The funniest moments come from their awkward interactions that contrast with what's going on around them, and there are several times where the mixture of comedy and violence works well. But none of the supporting characters have any stand out moments, the twist reveals never make the plot more interesting, and the direction is fine even if surprisingly not very distinctive.

Sorry guys, but for whatever reason, this one doesn't click as well as it should.