The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★

I’m not sure I understand what all the hype is for about Shane Black. After watching ‘The Predator’ and everyone losing their lids that it wasn’t up to his standards, I figured I’d see what was. It turns out that ‘The Predator’ was up to his standards because these films are pretty similar, mostly in terms of dialogue and action. I still haven’t seen Lethal Weapon or KKBB but I’ve now seen 4 of his films and they all have the same slapstick, cheesy dialogue with similar nods to his influences. 

The Nice Guys starts off with a groovy funk-track from the 70’s, like some classic blaxsplotation flick. Then we turn corners into this film noir with the pulpy car crash and sprawled out nude lady. Right off the bat he is blending two styles that I love, I was in for the ride. Black doesn’t follow through with his grimy film noir opener, instead it morphs into this family drama/comedy that is more heartfelt than seedy. The characters are developed in a quick and efficient manner with decent dialogue, Black gets a successful joke through every once in a while. The daughter, Angourie Rice, was probably my favorite character, Gosling and Crowe played well into their stereotypes but that’s all that they were. 

This movie just seemed a little too silly for the serious tone it was going for, it’s hard to split the difference when you want to effectively blend these two very different feelings. It almost comes off as conceited, all the physical comedy that flips on a dime and expects you to get serious. Some of the jokes hit and some missed, especially the ones that referred to ‘retards.’ Shane, somebody should really talk to you about your open use of that word... Also, I found myself looking forward to Margaret Qualley’s death. She’s a great actress but is entirely wasted in this movie. Overall this is a lot of fun, but I think I went in with too high of an expectation after all the people on Letterboxd were raving about his unique vision.

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