The Nice Guys is a movie I wanted to see when it came into theatres, but I didn’t get a chance to. I was excited to see it despite very little interest in the lead actors. The trailer was fun, and I’m a huge fan of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. So I was looking forward to its release.
The film tells the story of two investigators searching for a missing girl. Ryan Gosling plays Holland March, a jaded, semi-successful private investigator. Russell Crowe plays Jackson Healy, an enforcer who questions if there are better things he could be doing with his life.
The story is based in 1977 in Los Angeles. After Healy pays March a visit, he discovers his client’s case may not be so simple. They join forces to find the missing girl, and they are taken on a case involving potential murder, angry hitmen, and Los Angeles’ automotive and pornography industries.
The main fun of the film comes from Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling’s back and forth banter. Crowe is the straight man who expects Gosling to be professional, and Gosling bumbles and drinks his way through the case. Being the muck up, Gosling gets the majority of the laughs, and I don’t think I expected to laugh so much at Gosling’s screams and shouts. Gosling is great in this.
There are also some heartfelt scenes in the film. March is a single father after his wife died, and he makes attempts to be a passable father. His daughter Holly, played by Angourine Rice, is a fun and emotionally interesting addition to the film. Healy shows his attempts at redemption throughout the film, and the development of the men’s relationship is engaging.
The action scenes in the film are exciting as well as fun. There is nothing too dark to take away from the comedy, but it doesn’t shy away from some great action. The plot of the mystery is interesting and plausible, but I found the development of plot elements frustrating at times.
My favourites from the film: The humour was definitely the best of the film. It’s hilarious. Ryan Gosling’s performance and comedic timing was excellent, and I enjoyed his chemistry with Angourine Rice. The film looks great and cuts well.
My less enjoyed parts: A lot of the plot comes about because the characters happen to be at the right place, or sometimes wrong place, at the right time. It adds to some of the humour, but it left me frustrated at some of the key plot developments. I also found it bares a little too much resemblance to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
My recommendation: If you haven’t seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, watch that. If you’re a fan of it, this is another fun outing from Shane Black, and it’s not something you’ll see too much elsewhere. It’s a fun ride with some interesting characters, but you may want to leave your brain in the backseat.