Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling team up in this fun, action packed detective story. Set in the 70s and full to the brim with hilarious jokes, absurd action scenes and an even more absurd plot, The Nice Guys is a real treat to behold.
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling shine in the roles of Healy and March, two very mismatched protagonists who are hired to solve the mysterious death of a porn star and find a missing girl, and must somehow figure out what links the two together. Crowe is great as Healy, who is by far the more useful member of the duo. And yet at times he is completely overshadowed by Gosling, who gives what could be one of his best performances. Thrown together by chance, the two investigators quickly form a very natural rapport, and it’s great to watch a film where the heroes are both so morally ambiguous and would do almost anything for money.
In a vivid world full of guns and pornography the grounding force comes unexpectedly in the form of Angourie Rice, who plays March’s thirteen-year-old daughter Holly. Blessed with wisdom and resourcefulness beyond her years, she appears to be a more effective PI than Gosling could ever be and has no problem with calling him out on the fact that he’s not really a “nice guy” at all.
One of the best things about this film is how colourful, vivid and exuberant it is. Be that in a visual way (some of the costumes are brilliant) or just in general. In terms of music, there’s a range of classic 70s tunes that aid in the upbeat, fun tone that The Nice Guys maintains throughout. And in true Shane Black style there are dozens of jokes that just keep coming, both through the dialogue and the absurdity of some of the scenes. Quite often jokes are made out of the porn industry and the sleaziness is played up and emphasised at various points, but always with comic effect.
Despite this the narrative never seems to get out of control and manages to remain credible, which is likely down to the capabilities of the cast. This is certainly a film that keeps you on your toes, with various twists and turns that are never a complete revelation but are at times unexpected, whether that’s a surreal dream sequence or Richard Nixon turning up at the bottom of a swimming pool.
The Nice Guys is a great example of the buddy movie. Crowe and Gosling absolutely steal the show with their excellent rapport and great performances. This film has all the fun, action and comedy that makes for a brilliant piece of entertainment.
Written by Lauren Miles
Top 10 Films reviewed The Nice Guys on DVD courtesy of Icon.