You know what I never thought I would need? Another buddy-cop movie. You know what I want now? More buddy-cop movies! THE NICE GUYS is the new film from Shane Black starring Academy Award winner Russell Crowe and Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling and maybe you already guessed that they’re cop buddies. Sort of. I mean, not really. Like, they’re not actually buddies, and they’re not technically cops, but… Anyway, they’re private investigators who go on a mission to find a young girl who got caught up in the dangerous 1970 porn industry. Hilarity ensues.
This movie was just fun. It’s not ground breaking and likely won’t become a classic of the genre, but I enjoyed it from start to finish. Most of that was due to the incredible on-screen chemistry from Gosling (March) and Crowe (Healy). Their bickering and fighting felt completely genuine and worked perfectly. Neither of them are necessarily likable characters (Healy beats people up for a living and March is a scamming alcoholic), but they play together so well that you can’t help but love them. Yet they continue to surprise you as well. I wouldn’t have been able to accurately predict the arcs of each character, but by the end it occurred to me that where they ended was very natural. They’re also aided in their investigation by March’s intelligent and charming 13 year old daughter who added a significant amount of whit to the character’s interactions. In fact, all of the supporting cast was on top of their game and stood toe-to-toe with their juggernaut costars. However, it was upsetting that Matt Bomer’s character was relegated to nothing more than a villain with a gun. That was probably my main gripe with the movie. There were plenty of bad guys to go around, but none of them stood out. They were all easily defeated and none of them ever felt like a serious threat.
That being said, it was apparent that The Nice Guys was a sincere throwback to the action films of the 1970s. All of the tropes and stereotypes were present; they were just displayed in a modern and more playful light. So, it’s forgivable that the villains are one sided and the mystery is solved with more than a few conveniences. But I did catch a couple of loose ends that should have been tied up. The investigation itself is clever and enjoyable to try to keep ahead of. More than once I was thrown off the trail and found myself surprised with the turns it took. I think the movie is more about the relationship between Healy and March and the wild situations they find themselves in, but it’s nice to see a movie like this where the story still holds a prominent position. It’s unlikely that I’ll forget it anytime soon.
To put it simply, The Nice Guys is fun, exciting, and sexy. That’s all you need. It will undoubtedly hold your interest while putting a smile on your face. That’s right! I completely forgot to mention how funny this movie is! For once, the trailer didn’t have all of the funny moments. I couldn’t stop laughing. There were a few jokes that missed the mark, but the majority of this movie was absolutely hysterical. Easily the funniest movie I’ve seen in months and definitely worth the price of your ticket.
3 ½ out of 5 Stars
THE NICE GUYS (R) – Dir. Shane Black
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer
Run Time: 1h 56min