The Nice Guys review
Look, kids. This is what summer blockbusters used to look like. I like the Captain America movies as much as the next guy, but this is the film I was most hyped to see this year.
The Nice Guys was supposed to open later this year, but Warner Bros. moved it forward to give its original date to Central Intelligence, which appears to be just another routine comedy for Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Now The Nice Guys is opening against Neighbors 2 and The Angry Birds Movie. You can tell producer Joel Silver and the cast of the film are pissed about the scheduling. See the video below.
Ryan Gosling plays a shitty private detective who has rare bouts of intuition. Like Saul Goodman, his client list consists of confused elderly people. Russell Crowe plays a guy who beats people up for money, usually creeps, and he’s just been paid to kick Gosling’s ass.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how our two heroes meet. Soon they’ll discover their cases overlap, at which point they team up and scour 1970s Los Angeles for leads. Gosling’s impressionable young daughter, who might be a little smarter than her dad, tags along for the ride. She’s not incidental to the plot, either.
My favorite characters, other than the ones played by Gosling and Crowe, are Keith David and Beau Knapp’s henchmen. These nuts would have stolen the show if not for the perfectly cast leads. David is just one of those guys I love seeing in movies and his presence here makes it all the more legitimate as a throwback film. Knapp, who I’m not entirely familiar with, is a presumably coked-up idiot who has a hilariously evil laugh.
But back to Gosling and Crowe. Holy shit, what a brilliant team. This is as close as you can get to Lethal Weapon’s Gibson and Glover, and 48 Hrs.’ Murphy and Nolte. That’s not entirely serendipitous, either. Joel Silver produced both of those films and screenwriter/director Shane Black wrote all of the Lethal Weapons.
We can finally forgive Black for Lethal Weapon 4. The Nice Guys more than makes up for it. I don’t think it quite lived up to the hope I had for it, but my hope was unrealistically high. It’s fast, it’s funny, and Gossling’s comedic performance dances dangerously but successfully on the edge of “taking it too far.” Seriously, I’m in awe of how close he comes to going over the top without actually doing it.
So I wouldn’t say the trailer showed the best parts of The Nice Guys, but it definitely revealed too much. It’s a shame they couldn’t have saved a few more of those moments for the picture itself. It’s worth the price of the ticket anyway.