THE NICE GUYS (15)
SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, UNTIL TODAY
CAST: RUSSELL CROWE, RYAN GOSLING, MATT BOMER, KIM BASINGER, MARGARET QUALLEY, ANGOURIE RICE, KEITH DAVID & MURIELLE TELIO
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 56 MINS
DIRECTOR: SHANE BLACK
This should be called the funny guys instead – because nice these guys are not!
You can expect certain things from a Shane Black film, as the filmmaker behind hits such as Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 (and the forthcoming Predator reboot) has worked his magic once again with the action/comedy The Nice Guys.
For starters, a Christmas backdrop (it features in this, but only briefly), voice-overs (which help the story move along nicely) and – more so than not – a well-polished production.
Set in seventies LA, The Nice Guys is a brilliantly twisted story that begins as it means to go on. A car, driven by adult film star Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio) crashes through a house, where a young boy is coincidently admiring a naked picture of her.
The crash catapults her into the same pose we see in the pic. This sets the tone for the crude humour yet to come.
It turns out Misty’s death was no accident.
Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is an immoral private detective hired to find Misty by her aunt, who is convinced the girl is still alive after apparently spotting her after the death.
Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a tough-guy for hire, who has been paid to steer March away from this case.
Despite their rather unpleasant first encounter, the two guys are soon teaming up with each other.
They reluctantly take a job together, hunting for Amelia (Margaret Qualley), an activist who is connected to Misty. It seems most people associated with Misty are either dead or heading that way – and Amelia is no exception.
Can March and Healy find the girl before it’s too late? And why all the deaths in the first place? This movie comes highly recommended – so go find out for yourself.
What works best about The Nice Guys is the unexpected (but brilliant) chemistry between Crowe and Gosling. On paper, it doesn’t work. On the screen, it does – and very much so. Neither are particularly known for their comedy talents, and yet their timings and tone are spot-on.
It must be said, The Nice Guys is not a flawless movie. There are some serious pacing issues midway through, but just as you’re about to look at your watch – a great gag or unexpected action sequence saves the day.
Shane Black is back with a vengeance – and provides us with arguably his best film yet.
And it offers a lot more than simple niceties.