Funny, sharp, gorgeous, dirty, likable buddy comedy. What it lacks in keeping up a relentless pace, it more than makes up for with laid back coolness.
OVERALL SCORE – 4/5
The Nice Guys is a 2016 buddy crime action neo-noir comedy directed by Shane Black, written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi and stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling and Angourie Rice. The film takes the audience on a ride with a private investigator and a tough guy for hire as they attempt to find a girl who has gone missing.
The Nice Guys is a funny movie. It is a lot funny. The laughs to be had with the clever dialogue, sight gags and set pieces which come at the audience thick and fast are innumerable. The film knows what it is and keeps its hold on the audience with its smooth, laid back and fun loving tone. Huge props go to the production department involved. The look and feel of Los Angeles of the late 70s are perfectly captured with everything from Tower Records to movies being shot on film. A personal opinion of mine with this next line but the score accompanying most of the scenes was excellent. Not because it was orchestral and high brow but because it matches the tone the film is going for. It is the most 70s sounding score ever put on a film from the 2010s and because of that, it is Oh So Perfect!
Ryan Gosling is having a banner year. The man can do no wrong in the acting department. Watching him be a bumbling detective who quite literally stumbles into predicaments is a treat in the truest form. The chemistry he shares with his daughter, played to precocious perfection by Angourie Rice, is electric. His mannerisms, undercurrent of emotions, porno-stache, his ineptitude, his friendship with Russell Crowe all add to a wholesome character who would be a pleasure to watch in any film. Russell Crowe finally takes a step back from his self-serious acting and has fun with a role. This is the Russell Crowe one can find in The Quick and The Dead or Vituosity. The Russell Crowe who is having a good time and by extension the audience has a good time with him.
The film also wins by having extremely memorable and funny secondary and ancillary characters. All of them have their own specific moments of personality and make the viewing experience that much more enjoyable. The film’s flaws, however, are laid quite bare when one looks at it with a critical eye. The plot seems wafer thin and even the most inept of lawmen could handle the mystery given to our two leads. Yes, the primary conceit of the film is that the leads are not quite competent at their jobs but having them be a little smarter may have made the film a more engaging experience. The primary antagonist and the motivations for the antagonist’s actions come off being extremely weak. The film is trying to address a prescient issue but it does end up getting drowned out in the sea of Shane Black-ness.
The film is not one asking to be taken seriously. That is usually a good thought to have. It makes pop art more enjoyable. The film’s singular folly is not having something to really sink one’s teeth into. It is an enjoyable joy-ride with two charismatic men and a precocious child and not much else. The humor, underlying heart, wit and self-awareness elevate the film from being a run-of-the-mill buddy comedy to being a staple of fans of the buddy comedy genre.
They really do not make and the audience clearly does not support movies like this anymore, even though the clamoring for this exact type of movie never seems to stop. The opportunity to support the film is not lost yet. Watch the film, share your experience with it and promote it among your friends. Let’s help a movie which actually deserves it.
OVERALL SCORE – 4/5