Title: The Nice Guys
MPAA: Rated R for violence, sexuality, nudity, language and brief drug use
Director: Shane Black
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice
Synopsis: A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.
Review: The Nice Guys was an entertaining motion picture carried by a wonderful screenplay, written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi (how Italian is that!) and great performances by the lead actors. I had an expectation coming in about how I thought this movie was gonna be, and it did not disappoint. It did not exceed my expectations, but I was not at all disappointed with how the film turned out. I’m a huge fan of Shane Black’s first film, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which he also wrote, and The Nice Guys had a lot of those great qualities that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang did. The unpredictable plot, with twists and turns throughout, the dark humor, and the great LA setting.
The Nice Guys has some great performances from Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who are both not known for their comedic chops, but they pull it off with ease. Especially Gosling who has some of the funniest moments in the entire movie. I was really impressed with his performance, and I thought he was very hilarious throughout. Crowe was a bad-ass, as he is in most of his movies, but his chemistry with Gosling was great and the two of them really pulled off the funny-man/straight-man dynamic that you see a lot in movies.
Which leads me to my flaws. The way this movie is structured is very similar to a lot of other movies you see. Two guys are after something and bad guys are there to stop them, and so on and so on. However at times, Shane Black uses those movie clichés for some fantastic humor, which is something he is known to do. The way he makes his movies are almost like an homage to the older film-noir and crime thriller movies of the 50s and 60s. The way Shane Black directs is also unique, and I respect him for being an original filmmaker even though the plots for his films can be unoriginal at times. I also thought the supporting characters were not very memorable. However, there is one that I thought stood out.
The break out star of this film was Angourie Rice. I have never seen her in anything before, and in the beginning of the movie she did bug me at times. But by the end of the movie, I ended up loving her character, and I thought she gave a terrific performance. She plays Ryan Gosling’s daughter in the movie, and she forces herself into these difficult situations, because she wants to help Gosling and Crowe’s characters solve the case. She proves that she is more smart than both the two lead characters. Both Gosling and Crowe’s characters aren’t the best men for the job and aren’t very smart, but Rice’s character helps them out throughout the movie and really holds her own in this adult movie.
Overall, I thought The Nice Guys was a very enjoyable movie, with some fantastic, smart, witty dialogue. Both Gosling and Crowe had great chemistry and were very funny. The supporting characters were ok, but out of all of them, Angourie Rice’s character was by far the best. I definitely see her going places, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets really famous some day. But I might be overreacting…My grade for this movie is: