The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★

Shane Black's latest buddy cop movie works as a greatest hits collection of all his key elements pressed onto vinyl. An unlikely duo, banter, and action laced with foibles and dark humour.

I enjoyed much of it. A lot of the jokes, particularly the ones in the darker range worked for me. It did seem to try a little hard with the broader humour, particularly a lot of Ryan Gosling's pratfalls and slapstick.

Gosling and Crowe have great chemistry, thanks in part to Shane Black's direction.

The plot is coherent, but not terribly compelling. The mystery seems to serve in setting up gags and action set-pieces then once in a while, it stops to have characters do some infodumping and monologuing.

A lot of the problems come from Ryan Gosling's daughter played by Angourie Rice. She's often as annoying as Scrappy Doo, keeps showing up when she's not supposed to, gets in the way, and whines and nags. There is a scene in the near end where she admonishes Russell Crowe's character for something, despite the fact, she just watched her father do something along the same lines just before, and had nothing to say.

By the time the film reaches its end, it seems to abruptly wrap up with some ends being quickly wrapped up, while others are just left up in the air.

It's a fun movie, and in an era where buddy cop stories only show up in bad TV adaptations of movies like Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour, this was a much welcomed watch.

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