The Nice Guys: Gosling & Crowe Are Comedic Perfection – My Thoughts

I had been looking forward to The Nice Guys since it was first released in the US and those positive reviews started coming in…I knew what to expect with it being a Shane Black movie and I did go in to the screening expecting to very much enjoy myself…and I did…

The idea of a ‘buddy cop’ film may be a tired one to some people but it’s hard to argue the impact that Shane Black has had on that genre since he first sold his script for Lethal Weapon at age 22. The Nice Guys, only Black’s third outing as a feature film director is what we’ve come to expect from him. His screenplay’s have always been sharp, witty and most of all hilarious and this one is certainly that. Adding him as a director too just gives him that much more creative control to create what is easily the funniest film of the year so far.

With Shane Black’s films, the plot never really makes a lot of sense until the third act. The Nice Guys seems to just have various plot points thrown at you throughout the majority of the film which could become confusing for some audience members but the payoff in that third act where everything comes together and fits nicely makes for a great story.

The film tells the story of two private eyes in late 1970s Los Angeles, played quite wonderfully by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe who come together to investigate a missing person. The conspiracy just keeps on winding up and winding up, involving all manner of offbeat characters with Gosling and Crowe’s comedic chemistry and the unfortunate situations they find themselves in providing the majority of the laughs throughout. That is the real shining light of this film; it is able to mix truly hilarious moments with such a dark story so well that everything just seems to work beautifully. It takes skill on Shane Black’s part to be able to consistently take these two opposing tones and blend them seamlessly into the same film. Credit where credit is due.

The humour really is the stand out element of The Nice Guys though and that is almost entirely down to the excellent performances of Gosling and Crowe. With Crazy, Stupid Love, The Big Short and now this under his belt in the last five years, Ryan Gosling has proven just how good he is with comedy and hopefully that can only mean we’ll see him in more.

Angourie Rice as Gosling’s mature for her age, quick-witted daughter, Holly was also very good. It’s rare to see a child actor so good in a comedic film but she really delivers. There is an extended scene where Gosling and Crowe go to this insane party that just seems to ooze 70s cool and Holly rides along with them in the trunk, unbeknownst to her father. She ends up watching a porn film with its star sat next to her.

Another positive, and this may be on a personal note here, but it was great to see Keith David in a fight scene again. Given that he was in one of the most well-known movie fights of the 1980s in They Live with Roddy Piper, seeing him back throwing the punches brought a smile to my face.

A good way to put this film would be; think of the 70s porn scene style of Boogie Nights mixed with the hilarious ‘buddy’ nature of Shane Black’s screenwriting career with such films as Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 and you have The Nice Guys.

While I will say that the film could’ve benefited from perhaps being a little shorter in length and that the humour and plot structure style may not be for everyone, I don’t think it’ll be difficult to enjoy this one.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on The Nice Guys in the comments and check me out on Twitter and Instagram. If Horror’s your thing, be sure to head over to the HorrorHouse section of the website to check out the latest podcast episode there.

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