The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★½

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling often resemble Lebowski's John Goodman and Raising Arizona's Nicolas Cage in this... and that's a good thing. It works. This is the most fun I've ever had watching either of these guys, and the first time I've really enjoyed a Shane Black film.

I could probably get upset about the film's typical have-its-cake-and-eat-it-too, disingenuous critique of '70s Hollywood excess, but... "Apple pie. Apple pie!" The laughs, the physical comedy, the banter... these were well worth catching, despite the film's occasionally lurid tangents and cringe-worthy "Isn't pornography funny?" attitude. So, yeah — this is a textbook case of "guilty pleasure."

One major disappointment: Kim Basinger. I've missed Kim Basinger. And after seeing her in this movie, I still miss Kim Basinger. I get why they cast her — she's as much a convention of this genre as Crowe's dry narration. But I wish they'd given her more to do. She's so trepidatious in her few scenes, it's as though she's worried her makeup might crack.

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