Home Reviews Review: The Nice Guys

Review: The Nice Guys

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star in Warner Bros. Pictures' THE NICE GUYS

Amidst a cocktail of cigarette smoke, booze, Yoo-hoo, blood, morality and slapstick, we find The Nice Guys—Shane Black’s latest Los Angeles crime yarn, set in the late 70s, about a duo of investigative idiots following the trail of a missing girl to discover both conspiracy and corruption.

Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), a ruffian hired to beat up the baddies for money, and Holland March (Ryan Gosling), a simple yet well-meaning private investigator, team up after crossing paths based on mutual case interest. Healy and March’s pursuits lead them on the path of a typical private dick procedural, but you must forgive me if I failed to realize there was an intricate plot occurring, since I spent the majority of the runtime laughing so consistently and violently that I feared I’d eventually rupture an internal organ.

The Nice Guys is not just funny, but uproariously so, filling its always entertaining moments with simultaneous action, adventure, antics and audacity. Akin to 2014’s Inherent Vice, and so many detective tales before, we’re following the “professional” actions of those with good intentions, burdened by their own insecurities, substance abuse, ethical conflict and everything in between. Much of the investigation details are handed to our characters through sheer happenstance as they bumble around, March hammered down by being hammered most of the time, and Healy weighed down by his own gut (boy, do I love Fat Russell) and March’s persistent flubs (the character falls from a considerable distance on two occasions, both leading to discoveries that further enhance the case).

Together, you could call the duo Fatty and Drunk, and they’re a miraculously realized pair. Crowe and Gosling burst with a high caliber of cinematic chemistry, their respective line delivery and physical acting boasting more than a handful of career-heightening moments. Try not to cry laughing at Gosling’s silent fear during a crucial moment in an elevator, his eye twitching and entire body trembling. Try not to chortle at Crowe’s character-defining voiceover line, “Marriage is buying a house for somebody you hate. Remember that.” Try not to be both tickled and tensed up during a climactic chase and shoot-out that’s equally riddled with slapstick and suspense. The entire film carries such zany energy that never gives up, with a heart and conscience to tie it all together—a screwball mystery with a morality clause.

One could argue Shane Black’s career as repetitive, but when you’re churning out features like The Nice Guys, it’s hard to pinpoint any issues with the redundancies. I adored this film—every uninhabited, wacky, delightful and sidesplitting moment of it—and I’d champion it as one of Shane Black’s best (it’s certainly my favorite of his scripts, co-written with first time screenwriter Anthony Bagarozzi). A remarkable eye for detail in his settings, Black captures Los Angeles, per usual, as a character in and of itself. And as for Crowe and Gosling, Black zeroes in on what’s best about the two actors, and highlights their chemistry with playful precision. I’d give anything to see this trio work together again. It is sheer unadulterated joy to watch everything fall into place, as so occurs with The Nice Guys.

I can’t wait to see it again, but just as soon as I catch my breath. I’m still laughing.

Rating: R

Director: Shane Black

Cast:
Russell Crowe
Ryan Gosling
Angourie Rice
Matt Bomer
Margaret Qualley
Keith David
Beau Knapp
Kim Basinger

Film Length: 116 minutes

Release Date: May 20, 2016

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Score - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
9.5/10
  • Matt Damon stars in Universal's THE GREAT WALL

    Review: The Great Wall (2016)

    There was a lot of controversy before the release of The Great Wall. The controversy will …
  • Keanu Reeves stars as 'John Wick' in Lionsgate's JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2

    Review: John Wick: Chapter 2

    With John Wick being the surprise hit that it was back in 2014, you knew that a sequel wou…
  • Ben Affleck and Chris Messina star in Warner Bros. Pictures' LIVE BY NIGHT

    Review: Live By Night

    Riding the kind of streak that Ben Affleck has been on since he started directing films br…
  • Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in Lionsgate's LA LA LAND

    Review: La La Land

    With a massive number of people breaking into song and dance in its opening moments, La La…
  • KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW?

    Review: Kevin Hart: What Now?

    In spite of all of his obligations, Kevin Hart has found a way to remain connected to his …
  • Miles Teller and Jonah Hill star in Warner Bros. Pictures' WAR DOGS

    Review: War Dogs

    From what we’ve been told for a while now, war appears to be about money more than a…
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Greg Vellante
  • Garance Marimiller stars in Focus World’s RAW

    Review: Raw (2017)

    I think that we can all agree that not every movie is made for everybody. With that in min…
  • Jim Broadbent stars in CBS Films' THE SENSE OF AN ENDING

    Review: The Sense of an Ending

    On its surface, The Sense of an Ending is a movie that offers suspense geared toward a mor…
  • Dan Stevens and Emma Watson in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

    Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

    I am not usually the person to tell anyone to give remakes a look, but 2017’s remake…
  • Samuel L. Jackson stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' KONG: SKULL ISLAND

    Review: Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island doesn’t only represent the early continuation of a potentially ex…
  • Hugh Jackman stars in 20th Century Fox's LOGAN

    Review: Logan

    Logan interested me as a film for reasons that are probably obvious to most people. I beca…
  • Daniel Kaluuya stars in Universal Pictures' GET OUT

    Review: Get Out

    There are several different ways something like race comes into play in life. Even with th…
Load More In Reviews
Comments are closed.