Mike’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've been looking forward to this film for quite some time and I was actually going to go see it in theaters. Sadly, plans fell through and shortly after my theater pulled it from their schedule. Today I finally got to see it and I'm short, it's nice. In fact it's better than nice, it's really damn good! Scratch that, ITS AMAZING!
The plot follows Holland March, a full time alcoholic and part time private investigator, and Jackson Healy, a man that gets stuff done. March is investigating the apparent suicide of porn star Misty Mountains, but ultimately leads to a young woman named Amelia. Healy ultimately is brought into this and both of them are tasked with finding finding Amelia who is "missing", or is she? The plot takes all these twists and turns which leads to you being engaged the whole way through. I had a blast with this film and think that the plot is really great! Shane Black is in his niche when he's doing Buddy Cop films. He prooved it with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Lethal Weapon. Iron Man 3 was a departure, but Rhodey and Tony had some Righs and Murtaugh moments. Black is back in his niche writing a film that is funny, quotable and smart. As I said before, the plot is very engaging and will keep you guessing what will happen next. The film feels very large scale with it actually being smaller in scale. The leads are both likeable assholes, March in particular. He's a drunken asshole, but he gets the job done. Healy is more a "tough guy" and the brawn of the two. Both have excellent chemistry together. The film is also very quotable. Back when the film came out, people were telling me that it's Big Lebowski level quotable. While I still think that the Big Lebowski is a bit more quotable, this film still has plenty of great lines and jokes that will have you laughing and quoting them. One character that stood out to me was Holly March, Holland's daughter. She ends up being a major figure in the finale because of her quick thinking and intelligence. I liked how this film tells a full story and fleshes out the characters, yet sets it up for a sequel. Sadly, we'll most likely never get a sequel due to this film bombing at the box office.
The cast does a great job with their performances. Ryan Gosling is great as the drunken PI Holland March. Everything from his antics to some of his eccentric line delivery is perfect. While in some films I criticize when some performances are too eccentric, this film works well in the case that it's not too often and when it happens it works. Russel Crowe is also great as Jackson Healey, the tough guy that gets the job done. Even though his character might seem one dimensional, the script does a great job at fleshing out his character and making him much more than a tough guy. The standout for me was Angourie Rice as Holly March. For a child actor, she did pretty damn good! She brings the right amount of charm and charisma to the role that it seems believable.
The direction by Shane Black is very good. You know he's in his niche when he's doing a buddy cop film and it shows right here. The action scenes are beautifully filmed, with no shakycam in sight. While I felt that one action scene had a few too many cuts, it was fine nonetheless. Even in the more crowded/intense scenes, the camerawork is fluid and captures everything. Philippe Rousselot's cinematography never fails to impress and is one of the highlights of the film.
The score by David Buckley and John Ottman is fantastic! I know John Ottman primarily because of his work on the X-Men franchise. His X2 theme never fails to give me chills and I was excited to see what he would do with this film. Needless to say I was very impressed. The soundtrack sounds like something straight out of the 70's which adds to the buddy cop feel. I felt like This was a theatrically released 70's cop show thanks in part to this score.
Overall, The Nice Guys is a fantastic film that will have you laughing and will keep you enthralled throughout the runtime. While it may it be the best film of 2016, it comes pretty damn close. Please check this one out!