Stephen Robert Smith’s review published on Letterboxd:
Shane Black's directing efforts range between outstanding (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) to disappointing (Iron Man 3), his latest falls somewhere in between those two.
I was excited about 'The Nice Guys' when I first become aware of the project, that excitement jumps up a couple of notches after stars Crowe and Gosling signed on. Adding talent to project is never a bad thing, but doesn't necessarily mean they will 'click' together, some of this worry disappeared after seeing the first trailer, luckily the duos chemistry carries into the first, playing off of each other with a great back and fourth, creating a suburb odd couple.
The 70's setting suits Black's style perfectly as well as adding a unique visual that sets it apart from other films of it's type, the soundtrack also does a fantastic job of setting the scene and giving it that period feel.
Shane Blacks screenplay is full of wacky characters and situations that can only appear in a Shane Black screenplay, Kim Basinger's appearance is clearly a throwback to L.A. Confidential and is a really great choice, once again circling back to that noire flavour that 'The Nice Guys' is swamped in.
Gosling and Crowe are brilliant and will get all the plaudits, and rightly so, their characters are centre stage with all the great lines and funny moments deserving of these actors, but there's a third member of this wacky family and that's Angourie Rice, who at such a young age it more than capable of holding her own opposite two heavyweights, she certainly has a bright future ahead of her.
'The Nice Guys' isn't without its flaws, one of those is the lack of any real bad guy or villain. Matt Bomer, Keith David and Beau Knapp all do their best, but there's no real weigh behind them and feel a little hollow. That's not taking anything away from their performances.
I really enjoyed 'The Nice Guys', it really showcases what Shane Black is good at and places it front and centre, it's witty, funny, action packed and full of great performances, it was just missing or lacking something that I can't quite put my finger on. I wasn't left with the same feeling I had at the end of 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang', but this is defiantly one of those films that will benefit from repeat viewings.
I finally found a dream sequence that was funny and worked well with the actual story, I never thought I would see the day.