One of the things I like to do on this site, is give shoutouts to movies that, for whatever reason, didn’t click with audiences the way they should have upon release, and didn’t do well, but are actually great movies. Such is the case with Shane Black’s (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, Lethal Weapon) The Nice Guys. It wasn’t a film that was totally underappreciated, critics loved it, but for whatever reason, not a lot of people saw it in the theaters, which is a shame, because I just watched it, and this movie would have made my top ten list for sure of 2016.
The movie is set in the Los Angeles of 1977, and right from the opening of the movie, with the 70s Warner Bros logo, and the intro to The Temptations “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” we’re already ready, set, and ready to take a trip back in time with this movie. As a film buff and a history fan, I could really appreciate the little details put into this world, even down to a comedy club promoting Tim Allen and other now big name stars. Black did a great job of bringing back the L.A. of 40 years ago to the modern day, in this film noir, dark comedy, buddy picture.
The Nice Guys stars Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe as a private detective and professional beater up of people for money respectively, whose paths cross on a case involving a missing girl Amelia (Margaret Qualley), which gets them on a slippery slope of crime, murder, corruption, and porn.
If there’s one thing that Shane Black knows how to do, it’s write and direct a buddy action picture. Hell, he practically perfected the genre with Lethal Weapon. And as we all know a buddy picture is only as good as the chemistry of it’s two leads. Not to worry, Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are hilarious together, the comic timing of Russell Crowe was not something I was expecting, but he plays the stone faced straight man to perfection.
I also have to point out Angourie Rice who played Ryan Gosling’s daughter in the movie, who sneaks along the case like a modern day Penny out of Inspector Gadget, helping solve the case when she really shouldn’t be there. She does a great job in this movie.
All in all, The Nice Guys is a fast paced, hilariously dark buddy action film noir comedy, which would make a great double feature with his other movie Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which you should also see if you haven’t yet. And I’m really hoping that this movie picks up steam in home release, because I would love to see a sequel with more adventures with The Nice Guys.
The Nice Guys is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital. Or on HBO currently.