The Nice Guys
Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice
Written and directed by Shane Black
Warner Brothers (2016) 116 minutes
The Nice Guys is an adroit balance of film noir and buddy comedy. It stars Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling as two detectives who must partner up if they are to either get revenge or find the girl. It is one of those movies you end up watching on a regular basis because it is so bloody good and there are lots of little gags and details you missed the last few times.
Holland March (Gossling) is a single dad down on his luck detective who is hired by the aunt of adult film star Misty Mountains to find her deceased niece. Jackson Healy (Crowe) is first hired by a woman named Amelia –or was it Misty Mountains?– to get March off her back but then joins forces with March when some bad guys do The Nice Guys equivalent to pissing on his carpet. Secondary plots include a possible conspiracy by the big three auto makers to stop the catalytic converter and an “art film” starring Amelia that purports to be a protest film. All of this is set in 1977 when there was an oil crisis,Nixon had resigned, and Smog was a problem
Bad guys include a Black guy right out of a seventies Blacksploitation flick, your basic psychopathic villain with a blue face,and a nice clean-cut killer who are all after Amelia, Gossling and Crowe, and the missing film reel.
Aside from the chemistry between Gossling and Crowe, The Nice Guys work because of its superb comedic sense and timing and Gossling ability at slapstick, double-takes, and physical comedy.
You can’t go wrong when the movie has a great story, great characters, great timing, and a still alive at the time Richard Nixon as the angel of death.
Angourie Rice almost steals the movie as Holland March’s precocious Nancy Drew style daughter. I hope she gets more to do in the sort of announced and personally very much anticipated sequel.
Special features for the Blu-ray are a making of and a behind the scenes that are both rather banal.