The Nice Guys
Who’d have thought that Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling would make such a good “odd couple”? In this very funny comedy caper, the unlikely twosome pair up to solve the mysterious case of a missing girl and a murdered pornstar (Misty Mountains) – and uncover a shocking conspiracy on the way.
Of course, director and co-writer Shane Black practically re-invented the modern buddy cop movie with 80s favourite Lethal Weapon. In The Nice Guys, he’s transplanted the action to 70s Los Angeles but his trademark black humour, outrageously over-the-top violence, and killer one-liners are all still there. The plot unfolds against a thumping, boogielicious soundtrack, and a backdrop of knowing visual clichés that Black obviously delights in: giant billboards, high-speed car chases along winding hills, a riotous pool party in glorious technicolour complete with mermaids, and gorgeous, shimmering shots of the city lights at night. As the hapless heroes become ever more embroiled in LA’s murky underbelly, Philip Rousselot’s cinematography becomes increasingly lurid.
There’s certainly no shortage of classic shoot-out scenes in The Nice Guys, and anyone hoping for a good old-fashioned dose of face pummelling, explosions and bodies flying through the air won’t be disappointed. But what the film does so effectively is crank up the silliness factor. Black’s screwball wisecracks are delivered effortlessly by the two leads. Gosling, as inept and clumsy private detective March, is particularly good. Playing drunk for most of the film, he shows a real talent for hilarious physical comedy. Threatening to upstage him is Angourie Rice, the young actress who plays his wise-beyond-her-years daughter and reluctant driver, Holly. Hot on the heels of her dad and his gruff partner, she gives the film its heart and conscience – and she’s definitely a talent to watch out for.
Black has served up an extremely satisfying slice of movie pie with The Nice Guys. And judging by the calling cards that appear just before the credits roll, there’s sure to be second helpings soon.
The Nice Guys is released nationwide on 19th May 2016.
Watch the trailer for The Nice Guys here: