The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★

The Nice Guys is a riot. Harkening back to the era of films and shows like Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, and Miami Vice and Hawaii 5.0, with nods to L.A. Confidential. It demands to be seen and heard. It’s a buddy cop comedy with 70s swagger, pumped with loads of ridiculous lunacy. Where your failures will seem minuscule compared to these numb nuts. Who deserve an award for most f-ups that still get the job done— somehow. 

Set in the investigative world of 1970s LA proper during an era that highlights booze, boobs, funk, drugs, and other questionable paraphernalia. The Nice Guys is a certified ego trip. Retrofitted to dish up mystery and idiocy. As it follows two so called detective type characters, one with the brass knuckles (Crowe) and one with lungs of a 8 year old girl and a robust appetite for booze (Gosling). This is one of the insanest comedy mystery plots ever dreamed up and all the credit goes to Shane Black. 

Originally, this was admittedly too much for me and some of the humor didn’t stick the landing. Yes it was wildly enjoyable, but it felt like it was trying to hard to be funny. Upon rewatch I strangely love it even more. The oddities, like the hallucinating giant bee scene don’t bother me as much. Then again what’s not to love about Crowe and Gosling who unexpectedly pair together like the best P&J sandwich you never knew you needed, but desperately desired.

Crowe is strange mix between your friendly neighbor and the door bouncer ( He’s actually sweet in person, but with that said I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side). Crowe’s character cares, but he will still knock your teeth out, I guess you could call it a twisted form of tough love as he rescues girls. While Gosling’s character is more like the jelly in this equation. He’s a bit squeamish. As likely to pass out as to fire a weapon and hit his target. Easily giving idiot a whole new level of meaning as a bad P.I. and father. However I’m glad he finally got the opportunity to showcase his comedic chops, but as surprised as some may be by his comedy tour de force, Ryan was always a funny guy, whose been making me laugh since the days of MMC and Young Hercules— it’s safe to say we go back a ways. Despite what his films of late demonstrate he was a comedic performer long before his dramatic turn to stardom. But both their brilliant performances are nearly upstaged by little Angourie Rice in her breakthrough role, as she holds her own like a pro. 

While the music in this is a stellar whirlwind of good vibes. Providing an excellent reprieve from reality. The Bel Air party is one of the most hilarious scenes in investigative film history. And with every scene the fun and humor escalates like a wild acid trip, where you’ll just start to go along with whatever’s going down. Needless to say most of performances are good and memorable from this interesting cast. Model-actress Ya Ya has a fiercely fun duplicity and I died laughing when Ryan petted her hair. In addition Matt Bomer is the much added dash of absurd villainy needed (reminding me of Austin Powers) and it’s just a shame he doesn’t get more screen time to invest in his character or play out his darker ambitions as he’s quite talented at darker character roles. An Kim Basinger gets a cameo here, but it’s nothing to write home about. 

Also I couldn’t help, but think there’s an odd similarity between this and Tarantino’s OUATIH. They definitely seem to exist in the same universe.

All in all better on rewatch. Downright hilarious and a must watch underrated comedy that seems primed for a sequel, too bad that will probably never happen.

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