Shane Black has always had his distinct style of filmmaking and it’s more apparent with movies like Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang and Iron Man 3 under his belt (While Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang is a terrific film, Iron Man 3 however suffered from an identity crises since it was way more of a Shane Black movie than a marvel movie and ended up being a mess of a film). Thankfully, The Nice Guys benefits from Shane Black’s quirky writing and dry humor and the chemistry between its two leads.
The Nice Guys takes place in 1977 (ironically there are no Star Wars references in this film) and tells the story of two detectives who search for a missing girl named Emilia and investigate the suicide of a rising porn star. These two unlikely detectives must team-up and solve the case despite how much they dislike each other at first but their relationship and trust outgrow their differences as they explore this bizarre investigation.
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are terrific in this movie and they chemistry is off the chart amazing. They’re the best part of this movie by far. They’re both terrific actors and they play off each other incredibly well. The writing is also very on point and incredibly funny and fresh. These characters feel real and fleshed out and their conversations feel real and spontaneous. They feel like real people with real problems and interesting backstories, which are the best kind of characters. And there we’re a lot of laugh out loud moments that we’re so hilarious and actually really balzy and I need to give Shane Black props for having the balls to put that in his movie.
The story was fine. It wasn’t anything really remarkable or groundbreaking. There are also not a lot of huge surprises in this film but that’s not very a big complaint since it’s so much fun to watch these characters interact. It reminded me a lot of Rush Hour. Two detectives that hate each other at first but need to team up to find a missing girl. In fact, it’s really like Rush Hour when I stop and think about it. But the formula works. The movie takes place in the 70’s and the setting makes us feel like we’re watching a movie that was made in that time period but with today’s technology. It feels like we’re back in time and the attention to detail this movie has is wonderful.
Overall, The Nice Guys is a great action/comedy/buddy-cup movie that is boosted by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling’s terrific chemistry and Shane Black’s terrific script even though it sometimes stumbles in familiar terrain.