Eamonn Rafferty’s review published on Letterboxd:
Favourite Films of the 2010s
When it comes to the buddy-action noir-crime comedy-drama hybrid, there's none that does it better than Shane Black. From writing the screenplays for Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight and making his directorial debut with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it's safe to say Shane Black has his niche and knows exactly how to craft it. His highly underrated film The Nice Guys (it didn't do as well as the studio wanted at the box office) sees Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe play private eye Holland March and enforcer Jackson Healy, two men caught in a conspiracy involving an alleged suicide of a female porn star and the disappearance of high-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice. Holland March is a man whose lost the love of his life and his sense of purpose, leading to alcoholism and coasting by in his job of being a private eye, while Jackson Healy isa tough guy that wants to be known for doing good and what's right, but if he breaks your arm you know it's for a good reason. The 70's backdrop works and plays well with the story, with great costume design work from Kym Barrett and production design work from Richard Bridgland for the sets. There's a few little touches that play into some solids laughs in the midst of the mystery drama, such as March trying to punch through glass on a door and actually putting himself into hospital in the process, then there's March and Healy trying to find Amelia at her protest group rally and the dialogue in that scene just makes me laugh. The chemistry between Gosling and Crowe is electric here, their dynamic just feels so natural and their interactions work so well thanks to the script written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi. Jackson Healy is a typical kind of role for Russell Crowe to play, but he puts a lot of heart into his performance here, particularly in the scenes he shares with Angourie Rice, who by the way gives a terrific performance alongside Crowe and Gosling as Holland March's daughter Holly. Ryan Gosling is the absolute scene stealer here as Holland March, his comedic timing is terrific, especially when it comes to the physical comedy aspects as he literally throws his body about the place. It's just a shame that we're never get that followup film of seeing March and Healy handling another case.