The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys ★★★★½

2016 UK Releases Ranked!
2016 US Releases Ranked!

The Nice Guys is directed by Shane Black, and it is a buddy comedy set in LA in the late 1970's. Russell Crowe is Jackson Healy, a hired enforcer who takes jobs that usually involve roughing people up, and Ryan Gosling is Holland March, a private eye investigator who swindles of old people for jobs. The film takes the time to show how they go about their jobs before their paths finally cross as they eventually have to work together to solve the case of a missing girl, and in the process uncover ridiculous conspiracy theories.

2016 in my opinion has been an excellent year for child performances and Angourie Rice gives an excellent performance as Holly, the daughter of Gosling's character. Rice's performance is absolutely integral to the story as her character is smart and the writing for her the just adds a lot of depth and heart to the film and she also adds a sense of morality and innocence to the story. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are both fantastic in this film and share great chemistry together, I just loved seeing these two interact and work off of each other in the way that they do is just magical to watch, right from their hilarious opening scene together. It's very original character writing as well where both come from a very similar place and it's actually Rice that provides the contrast.

It's the kind of film where plot wise, a lot happens as it throws a lot of twists and turns at you, but really what makes it so enjoyable to watch is the characters. The dialogue is quotable and razor sharp, and the comedic timing is fantastic and had me nearly crying with laughter at times. Some of the jokes feel like they could have easily been throwaway gags, but if you pay attention you'll see how the more absurd gags connect with each in one way or another. It is small things like that that add a much richer experience in my opinion. Plus it's a beautifully shot film and it goes all out to give an authentic 1970's look and feel, with a great colour palette as well as an excellent soundtrack.

Overall The Nice Guys is an underrated comedy with great characters and great writing. An excellent return to form for Shane Black.

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