Lewiss’s review published on Letterboxd:
Admittedly, this was a 3.5 star movie for me for the first act. It was a little slow in parts, Crowe wasn't nearly as interesting as Gosling and the plot didn't seem to be going anywhere, which would have been fine had it featured a little more of Shane Black's style. It also wasn't quite as funny as some people said it was.
Having said all that, this is a movie that builds to something great. As the puzzle pieces begin to assemble and at the end you know where it was always heading, that first hour becomes something more than it felt like when first seeing it. I know I'll appreciate it more on a second viewing because now that I know the endgame and now that I've seen it snowball into that climax, I know this is a film greater than the sum of its parts.
Even in that first hour or so, I laughed out loud a few times, which I rarely do in a cinema, especially one as full as this one. There was one moment (those who have seen it, the bit with the fence), that made me burst out with a laugh so loud I'm sure I annoyed some people. Gosling kills it with the comedy here. His expressions and timing are spot on. Crowe plays it cool as the 'straight' guy but some of Gosling's comedy wouldn't have worked if he wasn't playing off of Crowe.
Aside from one scene of exposition, the story is captivating, and the payoff is satisfying. The action is fun, with even the more intense parts turned into punchlines (it works better than it sounds). There are some shining moments of comedy that play on cliches, the 70s aesthetic extends to the atmosphere, and I got a kick out of Ty Simpkins' cameo of sorts at the start, making his way here from Shane Black's previous film, Iron Man 3.
Yeah, this grew on me.