R2RN’s review published on Letterboxd:
This year was the return of Shane Black to his own sandlot. After a great deconstruction of both America, media manipulation, anxiety and Tony Stark himself in Iron Man 3, Black returns with a hard-boiled, bone-snapping detective story in The Nice Guys. A movie starring Ryan Gosling (who is probably enjoying a resurgence of sorts with both this movie and La La Land) as the stumbling Holland March, who I still dont know if he realizes how lucky he is and Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy, a guy withvery skewed moral principles and also tends to his fists more than his brain.
Crowe and Gosling have instant chemistry, playing each other really well with a funny, crass and at times, subversive script by Black and Anthony Bagarozzi, gives quite ingenious twists to some well-founded concepts on the detective genre. As stated the script is really good, but some of the plot elements dont gel as well as they could with Black juggling Pornography and another important of the 70's, it can get a little out of focus and decompressing at times, even with a solid runtime of 116 min.
Also, March's daughter, played by newcomer Anghourie Rice is a great third element of the duo, being both the brains and heart, grounds the characters, not allowing them to become absolute parodies.
Also the rest of the supporting cast is fine, but a little underused, Matt Bomer is the somewhat silent assassin, a regular staple of Black's movies and Kim Basinger, while nice to see in a movie after a long time, doesnt get much to do.
Overall, Shane Black reminds us once again why the buddy-cop and detective genre can still yield great results after all this time.