Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling join forces to tackle a truly bizarre mystery in crime/comedy caper The Nice Guys, directed by Shane Black.
Crowe’s on top form, playing American-Irish hardman for hire, Jackson Healy. Healy wouldn’t have been out of place having a drink at Sister Margaret’s – He’s very comfortable with violence, and pretty good at dishing it out. While Gosling goes for broke as functioning alcoholic Holland March, part conman, part private investigator, with a knack for solving problems with sheer and unbelievable dumb luck.
At heDD, we don’t like to give away plots by paraphrasing the story to fill space, so we’ll just give you this: Set in late 1970s Los Angeles, the film revolves around the unlikely pair searching for a missing girl, following the discovery of a dead (and naked) porn star. There’s a lot of drink, a lot of bewbs, flamboyant fashion (and villains), conspiracy theories, “pron”, shootouts aplenty and a couple of explosions for good measure – it is a Shane Black movie after all.
Highlights include the heart-warming relationship between March and his 13-year-old daughter Holly, played brilliantly by Angourie Rice and it’s romantically immersive representation of 70s LA. We also absolutely loved the dialogue, which delivers plenty of quality one liners, a favourite being:
If you get up, I promise you I will shoot you in the dick!”
The unlikely pairing of Gosling and Crowe works surprisingly well and there are strong performances across the board from the supporting cast, which includes Kim Basinger. We were thoroughly entertained throughout as everything comes together neatly in this ludicrously convoluted caper.
A couple of years back Inherent Vice, made a similar attempt at the LA (comedy) Noir, but it fell a little flat and didn’t quite get the reception it deserved. Hopefully The Nice Guys performs better at the box office – it deserves to. Other than the soundtrack, this is a much better film, delivering laughs and a wonderfully colourful escape from increasingly grey and rushed modern life. If this film had a stronger soundtrack it would get full marks, but regardless, it’s well worth your money when it hits the box office on June 3rd.