Not only is this movie funny, but everyone is going to want to have the bromance Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling’s characters have. Swoon.
Leave it to The Nice Guys – who, really, aren’t so nice – to come barrelling out of the gate with what will probably be one of the funniest movies of the year. The film is a sort of action-crime-comedy splice, directed by Shane Black. You may have heard Black’s name tossed around over other movies like Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3. He has writing credits for those – and for this film, too.
The film takes place in the Los Angeles of the late 1970’s. Enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and washed-up private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) team up to solve what, at first glance, appears to be the suicide of a porn star, Misty Mountains. Antics ensue – some violence, some humour. You get the idea. Also assisting Healy and March? March’s daughter, Holly March (Angourie Rice).
I think what makes this movie so great is all the self-deprecating humour. From gunfights to typical interactions with witnesses and suspects, Crowe and Gosling make for a delightful duo. Rice’s character is fantastic. Crowe and Gosling are already pretty funny, but Rice’s character adds another level of humour to the film (mainly because she’s a minor that’s been helping her pathetic father with his sleuthing).
While the film isn’t rewriting the book on original content (there are a few little twists, just nothing insane), the concept is missing a few things. Some of the interactions don’t feel very 1970’s, and, if anything, it feels more 70’s costume than 70’s 70s. There are also a handful of decade shoutouts in the film (there are a couple of Reagan references that are pretty funny, but that’s kind of it). What also added to the confusion was a trailer that was being billed as an 80’s inspired trailer. Meh. Also, it looks like there’s going to be a sequel to the film, though nothing has been confirmed yet (aside from a few lines pointing to that likelihood in the movie).
On the way out of the theatre, I heard a few people complaining about the violence. The level of violence wasn’t anything you would have seen in Saw, but yes, it’s a little violent (one guy ends up falling from a building, and the ‘splat’ he leaves behind is quite graphic).
I think the film is worth seeing if you’re into crime and comedy. Don’t bring your kids; this is a date night or buddy comedy to see in the theatres. It’s been relatively quiet on the social media radar, but I think word-of-mouth will serve this film well in upping its totals at the box office. A solid 4 nice guys out of 5 from me.