They’re Not That Nice
Shane Black’s latest offering, “The Nice Guys”, follows two head-butting PIs in 1977 Los Angeles having to come together to solve a case. Holland March, a closet alcoholic, is a private investigator who uses people and follows half-assed cases to take their money. Jackson Healy beats people up for a living; people pay him to beat and scare people who have been giving them trouble. The film opens as Misty Mountain (a famous porn star) crashes through a house and dies, allegedly suicide. As mystery surrounds her death, people connected to her keep mysteriously dying One girl who’s paid Jackson wants to send a message to a guy that’s been asking about her. This leads Jackson to Holland; and while he was just doing his “job”, Jackson beats him for doing it. Soon they realize that their cases may be connected and they must solve the case before more innocent people die. The rest of the film follows the unlikely duo as they use any means necessary to solve the case.
Russell Crowe stars as Jackson Healy, the tough guy investigator. Ryan Gosling stars as Holland March, an alcoholic PI who is perfectly happy just moving through life unhappy. Gosling and Crowe share nice chemistry, bouncing jokes off each other with ease. Whether it’s Crowe’s dry humor or Gosling’s witty one-liners, they deliver plenty of laughs throughout. Angourie Rice practically steals the show as arch’s daughter, Holly. One of her lines is so hysterical and innocently-raunchy, I can only imagine what her parents thought when they heard it! Matt Bomer plays a hitman named John Boy. Margaret Qualley plays the object of Holland and Jackson’s case and daughter of the Head of the Department of Justice, Amelia Kuttner. Yaya DaCosta is Kuttner’s secretary, Tally. Keith David and Beau Knapp plays two fellow hitmen, Older Guy and Blueface. Murielle Telio plays the famous Misty Mountain. Kim Basinger plays the Head of the Department of Justice, Judith Kuttner.
In a time where Hollywood constantly releases buddy comedies, it’s nice to see that there can still be a somewhat-original take on the idea. “The Nice Guys” excels due to its charismatic approach to the duo, leaving plenty of time for hilarious interaction but character exposition as well. Crowe and Gosling really play-off each other nicely, almost as if they have been doing it for some time. The film has nice balance of action and dramatic sequences, with some of the action scene being dramatically over-the-top. While that might not bode well for some films, it works beautifully here. There is one recurring bit during the film’s climax that had me laughing hysterically. Another thing I loved about “The Nice Guys” was how it’s not genre-specific. The film has plenty of comedy, but a fair amount of action as well, and a detailed story that gets uncovered throughout. The film never takes itself too seriously, allowing the viewer to have much more fun. The film has a run time of 116 minutes and only drags a bit during its bloated middle section. “The Nice Guys” isn’t the greatest thing out right now, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun and will keep you thoroughly entertained from start-to-finish!
“The Nice Guys” features two private investigators at-odds with one another, coming together to solve a gigantic case. The film features plenty of action, laughs, and one of the strangest stories in the history of buddy comedies. If you are heading to the movies this weekend, go see “The Nice Guys”!!
THE NICE GUYS is rated R for violence, sexuality, nudity, language and brief drug use, in theaters Friday!