The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★½

Of all the problems I mentioned last time, the one that stuck out most on this viewing was one I didn't mention: pace. Steven Soderbergh said something a while ago about how films these days have never been edited better on a micro level and have never been edited worse on a macro level, because the instant gratification of nonlinear editing means no time to think and digest. That's what I felt here: there's something enjoyable to some degree in almost every moment, but the unruly aggregation of all these moments is frustratingly stop-start from a momentum perspective.

Conversely, of all its virtues, I forgot to mention its lead performances, which are staggering. Gosling's bit in the restroom early on alone is the best physical comedy bit I've seen - this decade, maybe? And Crowe's equally good. It's fun just watching them dick around, maybe too much fun - but then, what moments do you lose? I feel Shane Black's editing room pain.