The Nice Guys
This may be a slight indication of an obsession I may have developed towards movies with Ryan Gosling, but nonetheless The Nice Guys is a movie worth sharing. The main reason I want to review this movie is because of how holistically good of a comedy it is overall and how neglected it has been (in my opinion) since it came out.
Set in Los Angeles during the 1970s, the movie’s protagonists are two “lawmen”. Russel Crowe portrays Jackson Healy, a hired enforcer who “beats people up for money”. Ryan Gosling is Hollan March, a pretty pathetic PI with a drinking problem and a clever daughter. After mistakenly breaking March’s arm for trying to find a girl named Amelia, Healy goes to March in a sudden turn of events to get him to help find Amelia, whose life is now in danger. The focus of this movie is around a printed pornography film made by Amelia that contains a political message about the pollution taking place in L.A. and is intended to act as a blackmail tool to strongarm the Detroit auto industry to not contribute to the pollution with their new, inexpensive catalytic converter.
There were many parts of this movie that were gut-wrenchingly hilarious, many of which included Gosling screaming like a little girl. One in particular was when March was trying to impress a girl at a party, and was of course piss-drunk, and ended up falling off of a balcony and rolling down a hill, eventually stumbling upon the rotting corpse of a porno director. I can’t put my finger on where I’ve seen this exact reaction before, but March tries to call out for Healy to come help him but all he can sputter out is gasps of helplessness. This was one of the first movies that I’ve seen in a long time where the humor isn’t founded solely upon sex, drugs, or swearing. Granted, all three of those are seen, but they aren’t the main themes. Crowe has his own moments of humor as well but they are much more subtle and usually aimed at making fun of Gosling’s character.
The movie ties together genres of comedy, crime, mystery, thriller, and even a little drama; put simply, it is too overwhelming for a single movie. While I do believe that humor is its main goal, there are certain points in the film where there was even a transition into an action movie with multiple gunfights on a scale too grand to be believable as plausible. Certain scenes could have been left out, which could have been beneficial for the audience in this two-hour spectacle of grandiose. Scenes such as that did not contribute to the movie’s otherwise great humor and only made for awkward moments and elapsed runtime.
Yet again, I find myself praising Gosling because of his acting abilities. I think he is too frequently disregarded for his comedic abilities, which are resoundingly good considering the movies that he has previously been a part of. Russel Crowe fit his character very well, too. Though, personally this was a stray from the movies that I’ve seen that he acts in such as Gladiator. Crowe and Gosling were a great duo in this comic flick, and were made even better by the help of other various actors/actresses.
The ending hints at potentially leaving room for a sequel, which part of me hopes happens but the other part of me says that this was a good standalone movie and does not demand another movie. However, I’ll still see it if it comes out. With due regard, I think that Mr. Black directed a surprisingly good and quality comedy movie, that could have done a bit less with sequences of intense action, but was a nice change of pace from many comedies that come out these days.
I give this a 9/10, but please do not watch it with your parents, as I mistakenly tried to do.