The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★

I got a plan - we throw up, and then we get rid of the body.

Shane Black is back, and with him he brings us a genre that he has shown he is more than adept with. The Nice Guys is a tale and play on fortune/misfortune, set in 1970s Los Angeles. It follows a private investigator, Holland March (Ryan Gosling), and a flexible self-employed hitman/enforcer of sorts in Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) as they follow a trail around Los Angeles, along with the help of Holland's cute/badass/hilarious daughter, Holly, to find a missing woman with the name of Amelia who seems to be the cause and consequence of a plot that stretches far beyond her.

And I will tell you now - it is as you might have guessed - think Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but perhaps just a slightly bit better because of Ryan Gosling and Angourie Rice's magnificent father-daughter portrayal (which someone totally should make a spin-off out of). I was a bit sceptical about Gosling's character for the first few instances of the film, but he grew stronger and more confident in his role as the film went on to the point where his whimsical Bugs Bunny-esque character seemed normal to him. Crowe on the other hand, I wouldn't go so far as to say felt miscasted, but there were a couple moments when you felt his character was outshone by not only Gosling's and Rice's, but a few of the other villains as well, and I don't know if this is the writing for his character or Crowe's performance, but I'll turn a not-so-difficult-to-execute blind eye and give Shane Black, and co-writer, Anthony Bagarozzi, and Crowe the benefit of the doubt.


There's nothing much more to it. When Shane Black goes all down and colourful and comedic on writing and directing neo-noir, there's only going to be one result, a helluva fun and entertaining film. And that's where it stops. He won't make anything powerful or mind-blowingly spectacular. He just does Shane Black, which is enough.

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