The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★½

The Nice Guys is a nostalgic tribute to the crime films of the '70s. While not exactly redolent of The Long Goodbye, a dense period look and feel nonetheless pervade the film thanks to its evocation of California nightlife and disco culture; its sense of time and place is almost on a par with that of Boogie Nights. Central to the film is the relationship between Russell Crowe's Jack Healy and Ryan Gosling's Holland March. Although it's less explored deeply than it is exploited for chalk-and-cheese hijinks, it still provides moments of humour. My personal favourite character is Holland's daughter Holly, played by Angourie Rice; she's responsible for some of the film's best laughs. Director Shane Black's script also has a ring of smartness to it.

However, the film is paralysingly boring. The plot isn't much, and while I said the screenplay has a ring of smartness to it, but it's still hollow and provides no dialogue that can be called memorable. The direction is colourful but not especially interesting, with Black all too happy to let things devolve into the standard Hollywood routine of fight scenes. What success The Nice Guys has it owes to its period detail and the good cast.