The Nice Guys SPOILER-FREE Review
I have been really excited to see The Nice Guys for awhile now. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are two tremendous actors, and they seemed to have really good chemistry from the trailers. I loved the style the trailers were going for; hearkening back to 1970's mystery thrillers. The comedy mixed with the grit really worked... from the trailers at least. Plus, I like Shane Black. Iron Man 3 wasn't my favorite film, but he definitely has his own style that seems well suited for this kind of movie. So I've been excited to see this movie. And I have to say, while it doesn't necessarily live up to my expectations, The Nice Guys is still a very enjoyable film, and one definitely to see.
Holland March (Gosling), a drunkard PI must team up with Jackson Healy (Crowe), a man who beats people up for money, in order to solve the mystery of a series of deaths surrounding the production an adult film.
Overall, the performances in this film are really good. Crowe is great as always, but Gosling really steals it for me. It gives a fantastic, nuanced performance, and also really delivers on physical comedy. Crowe and Gosling have really good chemistry together, and play off of each other perfectly. Their rapid-fire one-liners mixed with the physical comedy creates a perfect blend of humor that encapsulates this film. The action is also very well choreographed in this movie. It's bloody and gritty, and is a great contrast to the humor. And it is very well done. It's not just cheap action that is mandatory for this film to have... it actually works. There's a great fight scene between Crowe and a henchman by a pool at a party that is excellent, as well as the shoot-outs and fights in the third-act. The action can become under-appreciated in this film because the comedy is so well done, but it needs to be recognized and acknowledged.
I also thought Black did a pretty good job directing. His screenplay isn't the best (and I'll get into that later), but I thought with balancing the action and the comedy, as well as directing the performances, Black did a good job overall. I would like to see him return for a sequel, because I thought he added a lot to the style of the film. He made this really feel like a movie right out of the 1970's, and that is impressive. A lot of this is him, and I think he would be key to making another one.
The weakest point of this film is its story. The mystery that brings these characters together is very weak and overly convoluted. I had a hard time following it, and it just wasn't very engaging. There were a lot of conveniences, and it just felt like they could have further developed it and fleshed it out more. I found myself stopping caring about the plot, and just focusing on how funny the jokes were, how cool the action were, and how good the performances were. I also did not care for the character of Holly (Angourie Rice), March's daughter. I did not like Rice's performance, and I thought she was forced into the story way too much. And it just didn't make sense why she would be in many of the places she was in. She just needed to be toned down a bit in terms of her involvement in the story.
Overall, The Nice Guys has a lot of good things going for it, as well as some bad things. But the good definitely outweighs the bad. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are both excellent, but Gosling does give a stand-out performance. The use of one liners and physical comedy makes the humor in this film a highlight, and is a good contrast to the bloody and gritty action that goes down. The action is very well done, and will probably be an element of this movie that is overlooked. However, the film is bogged down by a weak plot, and a mystery that is overly convoluted. Angourie Rice is also used way too much in the story, making me scratch my head a few times as to why she's even involved. But in the end, The Nice Guys is a fun film to see, and definitely one to check out.
What do you think? Have you seen The Nice Guys? Did you like it? Leave your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the comments section below.
Written by: Nate
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