The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★½

Don't say, "and stuff." Just say, "Dad, there are whores here."

So, I don't have a favorite kind of movie, because any good movie is a good movie. I do, however, own up to being partial to crime films, specifically of the detective noir persuasion, and this is sadly a genre which is out of touch with the present mainstream. So when I see a trailer showcasing outstanding comic chemistry between two actors I never asked to be put together, but am somehow thankful it happened anyway, you better believe I was willing to front some money and do my part in keeping this precious commodity on the market.

More than genre-parody or satire, The Nice Guys wields its constant flow of gags and humorous asides as a potent love letter to the Long Goodbye's of the cinema world, self-consciously crafting a convoluted plot line which, though surprisingly easy to follow when you think about it, is clearly just an excuse to make a fun movie for people who love movies, and to impressive results. I will confess that there are moments in the film which serve only to remind me of the superiority of other members of the genre, but these lesser qualities are still overshadowed by my own rose-colored love for both this type of film and the two actors populating the top of the billing. I mean, sure, sometimes the editing bothered me, cutting fast on moments where it maybe would have been stronger to hold (in my ever-humble opinion, of course), but really, at this rate, who cares? The jokes are always funny, often hilarious, and the story is a heck of a lot of fun beyond that.

If this feels like a bigger-budget response to Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice, aimed at bringing the general public back into a world of violence and deception and pornography and making them laugh along the way, then we're better off for it. This film is certainly not that one, but it is a good way to spend an evening, and what more can we ask?

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