The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★½

As long as the fact that the characters here portrayed only work and exist within Shane Black's vision is fully embraced, it's deliciously easy to get inebriated by this unequivocally overstylized pseudo-neo-noir pulp fiction where the plot is deliberately convoluted and entire set pieces are built around sheer stupidity. The 1970's aesthetic is clearly wonderfully fitting for a script so gloriously hedonistic and blatantly self-loving as this, which in a truly auteuristic way doesn't vary that much from the writer-director's previous work.

Newcomer Angourie Rice gives a Jodie-Foster-in-Taxi-Driver/Natalie-Portman-in-Leon-the-Professional type of performance that pretty much guarantees her place as a Oscar-winning superstar in the near future, while Crowe does a damn fine job as the grumpy "straight man" of the leading duo. His partner, once Nicholas Sparks' protagonist, recently cold-killing silent driver, Ryan Gosling, gives a heavenly whole-body comedic showcase of miraculous funnyness. He shifts effortlessly from Clooney-ish exaggerated-expressions to actually morphing into a modern-day Buster Keaton during the final sequence.

The kind of stupendously fun studio production that obviously doesn't even get its money back in this cruel dystopic kid-and-geek-fueled multiplex reality mainstream cinema finds itself in, yet Nice Guys provides that quality joyful entertainment is worth "standing for".

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