The Nice Guys – Movie Review

If only there were more people in the world like Shane Black. After huge success as a writer, starting with Lethal Weapon in the 80’s and continuing through the 90’s with movies such as Last Action Hero. The release of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in the early 2000’s saw him enter the world of directing. Following up that debut, Marvel approached him to write and direct Iron Man 3. Now we have The Nice Guys, a 1970’s buddy action movie starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe.
So, is it any good?
I rarely go into movies nowadays confident that I will enjoy them but I have enjoyed every single thing that Shane Black has put out to date. The Nice Guys is another shining example of Black’s ability, especially in the Noir/Action genre. It’s easy to compare this film to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it’s also important to note that this is not the same film, nor do they aim to re-create that film in any way.

Ryan Gosling plays a single father of a young daughter, as well as a questionable private detective named Holland March. Opposite him is Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy, the guy who beats people up for money. After crossing paths, when Gosling is accused of stalking, they realise that their cases are connected and may need each other’s help. Hilarity ensues, mixed with some great action sequences and a few moments that made the entire audience squeamish. We follow the pair as they crash parties and expose the seedy underbelly of the pornography world in 70’s Los Angeles.x720-kqsJust about everyone who walks onto screen gives a great performance. Whether it’s the stars of the film or extras with one or two lines, almost every word seems thought out. I was hesitant about Russell Crowe, but he gives an outstanding performance and Ryan Gosling feels right at home. Special mention should go out to Angourie Rice, who plays Gosling’s daughter. This reasonably new and young Australian actress steals scene after scene. Her addition to the story helps explore the backstory of the characters and touch on topics like addiction and morals, as Shane Black always likes to include.
Originally written as a television show, this was turned into a movie that I only wish I could see more of. People are saying “This Generation’s Lethal Weapon!” While I don’t think this movie will reach those heights (Lethal Weapon is a timeless goddamn masterpiece) it is definitely worth the price of a movie ticket.