Director: Shane Black
Writers: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi
Cast: Ryan Gosling (Holland March), Russell Crowe (Jackson Healy), Angourie Rice (Holly March), Margaret Qualley (Amelia), Matt Bomer (John Boy), Kim Basinger (Judith Kutner), etc.
Running Time: 119 minutes
I’m going to come right out and say it, The Nice Guys is the best comedy I’ve seen since The Other Guys (2010). Yes, The Nice Guys is better than 21/22 Jumpstreet, Easy A, This is The End and Neighbors. It is a terrific action-comedy from top to bottom, and nearly every aspect of the film just works. The cast was perfect, the direction was stout, and it took place in the 1970’s!
The Nice Guys starts out with the mysterious death of famed porn star, Misty Mountains (I wonder what the mountains are?). Some way or another, the world’s worst detective (Ryan Gosling as Holland March) and tough guy Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) get involved. Reluctantly, they team up and decide to investigate the issue. This case turns out to be more complex than they initially thought, and the two partners get caught up in a huge mess of corruption.
I’ve showered praise for this film, and it wouldn’t be possible without the magnificent actors that were cast. While a comedic role is often shied upon in movie circles, it is just as important and takes as much skill to master as a dramatic role. A skilled actor can truly elevate an otherwise simple scene. In one scene, Gosling’s character fell down a hill and just happened to land next to a dead guy. Seems like a pretty common situation in film right? Well there’s more to it than that, Gosling truly got every ounce of hilarity out of that situation through his brilliant physical skill. His mannerisms were hilarious in that scene, and there were other examples of this throughout the film. Russell Crowe was admirable as Gosling’s tough, no nonsense partner. Crowe was far less funny than Gosling in The Nice Guys, but keep in mind that Crowe is notorious for being one of Hollywood’s least funny actors. Despite Crowe’s comedic deficiencies, his chemistry with Gosling was excellent. A buddy cop film is nothing without chemistry between the two leads, and The Nice Guys achieves that. March’s daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) was a very funny character. Credit to Rice for such a great performance, it’s not easy to standout when two very established actors share the screen. Holly was actually the only character in the film who was actually nice and stuff. She was technically the only nice guy in the film and stuff.
Shane Black deserves credit for his work in The Nice Guys. It’s pretty difficult to make a fresh buddy cop film, especially since that genre has been watered down as of late.Black not only directed, but also co-wrote the film with help from Anthony Bagarozzi. The script was incredibly sharp, and overall it was hilarious. Just like in many other comedy films, scenes with slapstick comedy are frequently used. It’s a testament to the people involved that they were able to make slapstick moments funny in most situations of the film. Slapstick can sometimes be unnecessarily boring, this is not the case in The Nice Guys. Near the end of the film, March keeps trying to get a key piece of evidence, and in his attempt he; falls through glass at least three times, falls onto the roof of a car, and gets hit by a car door. This part was freaking hilarious, I was dying with laughter! Gosling really did a very nice job, it was so funny to watch him go through hell to get the evidence. It was one injury after another, just hilarious.
Black also effectively created a retro 1970’s vibe, although I felt he could’ve done a better job in that respect. Nonetheless, The Nice Guys benefited from a great vintage feel and that’s all thanks to Shane Black.
Though I’ve talked this film up a bit, it is not perfect. The story gets a little murky halfway through, and it starts to get confusing. Also, there was a 15-20 minute period right before the climax (insert porn joke here, since Since The Nice Guys revolves around the industry) of the film where the laughs went cold. Of course a comedy won’t make audiences laugh every second of its running time, but those fifteen minutes were a drag. These issues were only minimal, and they did not ruin my overall enjoyment of this great film.
How good was The Nice Guys??
3.5 out of 4
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