Steve G 🇵🇸 🇾🇪’s review published on Letterboxd:
The last time I watched The Nice Guys, I promised myself I would give it a proper review for the first time since I watched it for, well, the first time.
So here I am. I still haven't reached that point of obsessively rewatching something where you suddenly think, "OK, familiarity might be about to breed contempt here, I'll knock watches of this on the head for a while." We all reach that point with stuff we love - not just films, but TV shows, music and so on. We all have our saturation point.
I'm just not sure if that's even on the horizon with The Nice Guys. It just ticks every single box I want from a film. I'm not tired of one bit of it. It's the perfect comfort film for me, being a buddy cop action comedy, and those kinds of films are usually what I will fall back on if I'm at a bit of a filmwatching loose end one evening. They have been for quite a while. But there's clearly a lot more going on here and it was only last night that I figured out one of the reasons why I have become so attached to this film.
It's the 1970s, isn't it? This is a 1970s crime film made in the 2010s and hitting all the beats of a film made in my favourite genre and set during my favourite film decade. If buddy cop films were more of a thing during the 1970s (and aside from Freebie and the Bean and maybe one or two others, they weren't a thing at all) then I truly believe The Nice Guys would be the kind of film we'd have seen more of.
It also captures the mood surrounding the porn industry, still in its relative infancy in that time. How it was able to worm its way into mainstream circles through unorthodox means, and the types of people that worked in the industry. One of the reasons I was so desperate for a sequel is because I hoped Shane Black would actually delve deeper into that world - it seemed the natural progression for his two lead characters and the murky profession they found themselves in.
More than anything, it still makes me laugh *so much*. Like, I know all the lines now, I know the timing of them and everything, but it doesn't matter. I'm still laughing like an idiot on so many different occasions at them, and I guess that's the mark of the very best comedies, for whatever tickles your funny bone. When it's still funny despite you knowing the script line for line.
Every time I watch it too, I just hope that whatever film Ryan Gosling especially is in next is a comedy. I was unaware of what timing he had and sheer total awareness of how funny he could be that he possessed until I saw this and then, having also caught him in the superb Crazy, Stupid, Love last year. His mannerisms and the little nods and winks between him and Russell Crowe mean so much here. The moment where he looks across at Crowe for approval when Kim Basinger offers him a mint makes me howl. I DON'T KNOW WHY.
I promised myself so much that I wouldn't got off on another rant about this tanking at the box office, and I'm really not going to do it, I promise. But I really do think we missed out on so much by sleeping on this - both at the time and now a couple of years down the line when we really should be sitting on an imminent sequel to this. I've almost never been surer that a film is utterly perfect.