The Nice Guys Review


     It makes perfect sense that The Nice Guys takes place in the 1970s, since it is a throwback to the buddy cop movies of around that era.
     Director Shane Black pretty much perfected the buddy cop formula when he wrote the first Lethal Weapon flick, so much so that every film he made after that was just a variation on that formula. I have always said that formula is not a bad thing when its done correctly; namely a sense of fun, and some relishing in the conventions of said formula. And that is exactly what The Nice Guys manages to pull off expertly.
     As with any riff on Film Noir, the case starts off with a missing girl in danger with two men on the opposite ends of the case: Holland Marsh (Ryan Gosling) is tasked with finding her as a person of interest, while Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is tasked with beating the shit out of anybody looking for her.
     Its how these two guys became friends.
     Well, sort of. They join forces because something doesn’t add up, and they’re right. As with any Noir film, not everything is so clear cut.
     Thinking back to the flick, I realized that the main inspiration is Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye with its laid back, devil may care attitude. It’s genuinely the kind of movie that isn’t really made that much in Hollywood nowadays; the kind that you just relax and laugh your ass off.
     Earlier I mentioned that the film is formulaic to a degree, and that is very true, but what makes The Nice Guys thrive is the chemistry between Gosling and Crowe. The humor and dialogue comes across so naturally between the two that you settle into the story before you even know it.
     As a detective story, there are twists and turns abound, and as predictable as it may come across, the fun is trying to figure out where the plot is going to head. The spiritual cousin of the movie is Shane Black’s own Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, very alike yet the two have their own flavor. The best example of having formula done differently.
     At the end of the day, The Nice Guys shows us that there can be more to summer season explosions. Not only is this one of the funniest films I have seen this year, but I wouldnt be surprised if it ends up on my best of the year list come December. So fucking see it already.       


One thought on “The Nice Guys Review

  1. We went and saw this one not really knowing what it was about but I was pleasantly surprised! It hit all the beats – definitely a bit formulaic but it really worked with this film. I LOLed.


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