The Nice Guys is a buddy cop action comedy of sorts from the King of that genre, Shane Black. He wrote the first Lethal Weapon film, as well as writing and directing the brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I’ve been so looking forward to this film for a while now, so I went in with pretty high expectations.
The Nice Guys sees Private Detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling) teams up with enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) to try and find a young woman named Amelia. The first thing I’ve got to say is that the script is fantastic. Black and co writer Anthony Bagarozzi deliver such a funny and entertaining script. As I’ve already mentioned Black knows the genre so well, and knows how to make a great buddy movie. He keeps the film moving at a good pace, but also allows time for the bigger gags or couple of smaller quieter moments to hit home.
The film is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny at numerous points throughout the film. I mean, I laughed a lot. I think once you see a comedy film that appeals to you from a trailer you have to try and avoid watching other teasers for the film, because often times that can spoil many of the jokes in the film. And I did a pretty good job of avoiding trailers, and so only really knew 2 or 3 of the jokes from the film, and those were mostly from the beginning. So a lot of the film felt fresh and not like I’d seen it before. It also contains so many classic Shane Black tropes. You will be able to see if you’ve watched his previous work no problem. If you’re a fan of his earlier work then you are going to love The Nice Guys.
The other huge part of the film is the performances by Gosling and Crowe. Both of them are so perfect in their roles, and even more importantly they have incredible chemistry. Gosling gives a performance completely unlike any that we’ve seen him give before. Normally in action films he is a tough quieter type, like in Drive or Place Beyond the Pines, whereas here he is hilarious, at times useless or careless, and not only nails the comedic dialogue, but also the visual comedy as well. Crowe on the other hand gives a classic tough, gruff performance, the kind we’ve not seen from him the last couple of years, but he also brings a lot of he pathos and heart to the film. The other character that really does that is March’s daughter Holly played by Angourie Rice. She’s only about 13, but is fantastic alongside two big name actors.
The Nice Guys was absolutely one of favourite films of the year, possibly even my favourite. The story is well paced, the action is entertaining, the dialogue brilliant, the humour absolutely on point, and it absolutely nailed the feeling of the mid to late 70s. The Nice Guys is dark, it’s funny, it’s hugely entertaining, and its well worth your time and money. I loved this film.