Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Nice Guys

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! The Asylum's "mockbluster" version of this movie is called The Nicer Guys.

The Nice Guys – 4 out of 5

I gotta say that I’m a fan of Shane Black.  I think he’s a great writer and director.  The guy has written some great action movies that have a healthy dose of comedy; films like Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Last Action Hero (which I hold firm that it was ahead of its time and is wittier and smarter than we give it credit for), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3.  When I saw that he made a film that starred Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as 70s era buddy cop-esque partners I was pretty intrigued.  So, is The Nice Guys as good as Black’s films that came before?

It has Keith David in it, so that's automatically making this movie at least a 3.

Ah, yes.  The 70s.  Reminds me of that show from the 90s.
In 1977 Los Angeles, a drunk private investigator by the name of Holland March (Gosling) teams up with a muscle-for-hire; Jackson Healy (Crowe), after both men end up having a connection with a woman by the name of Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley).  It seems that she has some powerful individuals after her and she’s somehow connected to the death of a porn star.  Matters are only made worse when a high ranking official in the Department of Justice (Kim Basinger) is asking the men to take the job and locate Amelia.  Now these two must work together to find the woman and find out what she knows and why it is causing all this trouble.
I know it's early in the review to say this but I wouldn't be opposed to a sequel where
these two take another case.

The trailers made this one look like an absolute riot and made the duo of Crowe and Gosling look like the new version of Riggs and Murtaugh—or whatever other buddy cop twosome you want to use.  However, I have to say that the trailers really sold this movie short because the comedy in this film is only a small part of what made this film great.  I don’t want to act like the humor in this movie isn’t amazing because it’s fantastic but this film also offered up a really intriguing story that had a fairly decent mystery to it, some very satisfying action moments, and some excellent performances.

Let's be honest, even on the toilet like this Gosling is still dreamy to all the ladies.

Rice is not only really talented but she brought drinks
for everyone!
One of the strongest aspects of the film is the cast.  I was incredibly impressed with Angourie Rice as Holland March’s daughter Holly.  This kid plays a big part in the story as she greatly helps her father and Healy but also is there to help develop a dramatic arc for Holland and Rice does a tremendous job in the role.  Crowe and Gosling are both incredible in the film and really have some palpable chemistry.  On paper, these two guys don’t seem like they are the types to be in an action comedy are partners but they work amazingly well.  I was even quite surprised to see just how over-the-top Gosling would get and was very impressed at how he made it work and looked very natural doing it.

The look of a man who realized they were not entertained.

Finally, Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi fantastically crafted a story that blends comedy and action and even throws in just enough drama to make the characters a bit more relatable and engaging.  The mystery isn’t too complicated nor does it take itself too serious as it brings in the reveals and twists in the story at an excellent pace.  Black and Bagarozzi even throw in some unique moments as plot points are revealed in ways that are very unusual for mystery/crime thrillers.  It really all came together to form a story that is easily engaging and ripe for comedy.

You can literally hear him saying "Hey girl" when you look at this picture.

The only real downside I had for The Nice Guys is the fact that some supporting characters aren’t as developed or prevalent in the film as I would have liked to see them.  For example, Kim Basinger is rarely around and some of the antagonists—like Matt Bomer as a hitman—don’t have the threat level that they needed.  One of the weakest aspects of the film’s story is the fact that Healy and March really don’t feel like they are up against anyone.  While there are some nefarious ne’er-do-wells who are behind the plot that the guys are trying to uncover but it really doesn’t feel like there are for much of the story.

Shane Black does give us a giant talking bee in the film.  Something a lot of movies
are lacking.

The Nice Guys might have little hiccups with some elements of its story but nothing about this missteps really cause any widely noticeable problems or did any harm to the entertainment value.  Overall, the film is a lot of fun and a great example of an R-rated action comedy that is incredibly hilarious and very engaging with its action.  Hell, some of the action moments are actually kinda surprising and shocking and it resulted in a movie that proved to be an excellent addition to the annuals of the buddy cop comedy sub-genre.

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