Earlier this week I finally got the chance to sit down and watch a film that I’ve been meaning to get round too. And that was 2016’s The Nice Guys. Directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3), it follows two very different private eye investigators as they take on a case involving a missing girl and a murdered porn star.
Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe are paired together in this 70’s stylish cop caper and they make a winning pair. Both have their moments, Gosling’s March is the clumsier of the two with Crowe’s Healy being the straight guy. They are both polar opposites of each other yet work great as a team. Within seconds of them sharing the screen I knew it was going to be a great double act. They resembled Gibson and Glover in the Lethal Weapon series, also directed by Black, which proves that he has a good eye for pairing up actors that have great chemistry together. Even general dialogue between the two which had no resemblance on the plot had me in stitches. And Gosling just gets better with each performance I see him in. Even Crowe looked like he was enjoying himself onscreen.
It’s a “whodunnit” plot that we’ve seen plenty of times but as long as getting from A-B is an enjoyable ride with plenty of action and excitement then that’s fine by me, and there are some elements here but not all of them.
I hope you’re not squeamish with a bit of on-screen blood either, because there certainly isn’t a lack of it throughout the film. And with March having the weakest of all stomachs when it appears, either via himself or others, the results are comical.
But hero’s need help at times and they got that through March’s daughter Holly, played by Angourie Rice. She kept up with the pace of all that was going on around her and more often than not, worked out the next step in solving the case or at least pointed them in the right direction.
I wasn’t fussed about the actual conclusion of the film however, it could have been a cat for all I care, I just wanted more screen time of Gosling and Crowe.
You can’t have an 70’s film without 70’s music right? And with The Nice Guys you get a great selection of disco hits, my favourite being Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September”. There are plenty of other tunes that you will recognise and get you bopping away too. In fact the whole 70’s vibe, from the outfits even to the wall paper were brilliant, colourful and fun to watch.
Overall I gave this 3 out of 5. I loved the look and feel of the film but the story resembled more of an extended TV episode rather than a movie. Sure I thought it was funny and some of the fight scenes were awesome, but I honestly couldn’t tell you why they happened or the reasons for them and I didn’t really care. Which is a shame because when investing nearly 2 hours in to a film, I want to be drawn in by not only the performances but also the story.
However, this is a film I would watch again purely for the onscreen chemistry of Gosling and Crowe, I’d really like to see these two team up again even as a sequel to The Nice Guys. I have been waiting for a 21st century Riggs and Murtaugh…could they be it?
Thanks for reading.