The Nice Guys ★★★★

The Nice Guys is what I wanted from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang a similar Los Angeles based neo-noir comedy about two unlikely partners uncovering a mystery. I think both films are excellently made with colorful characters and scenery, I found the plot for Guys much more interesting, the 70's a better backdrop and the presentation of Gosling's comedic timing. It's a pretty even trade from Downey to Gosling but a bigger improvement going from Val Kilmer to Russell Crowe, and they don't have to bring up his character is gay every ten minutes. It's a strong performance piece from Gosling as he deconstructs his tough persona to a bumbling P.I. who is a charming screw up. The mystery is pretty straight forward giving room for more interesting banter between our heroes and those they encounter like kids on the street they bribe for information. The film is consistent with humor interwoven with it's action set pieces. I couldn't get over what a good time this movie is. It's not going for the toughest grime and grit of 70's LA but it's not afraid to fill the screen with low lifes and drunks. It's a peppy throwback that has the Shane Black charm we all love, with or without Christmas.