Shane Black returns to write and direct stuck in the 70’s super sleuth comedy with an unusual cast of Russel Crowe, Ryan Gosling and introducing 13 year old Angourie Rice (now 15).
As Black demonstrated in the parody but dark Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and the high budget and edgy Iron Man 3 he looks to laugh at Hollywood’s vanity using the form detective genre rather than full on action. Though the plot may feel like a episode of CSI it all connects and the penny drops and you feel satisfied at the end of the film but I am getting waaay ahead of myself.
We follow the story of Jackson Healy who is sent to beat up a shifty guy searching for his client Amelia. Though good at heart we soon realise Healey puts money first, emotions after. You later realise the guy he beat up is a private eye searching for Amelia as she was last seen working with the niece of his client. The niece, famous porno actress, Misty Mountain recently died in a car crash. Does Aunty need her glasses checked or is Misty alive? Amelia holds the key to this mystery.
Our shifty Private Eye is Holland March, drunkard by day and evening and full time terrible father, at the age of 13 she is driving him from hospital ‘home’, you find out that their ‘home’ is a rental due to his negligence and well their previous house going out in smoke…with the mother. As much as Ryan Gosling playing him perfectly as a creepy, you can’t help but like March and his bad luck. He manages to survive the most absurd of situations with help from his daughter and later Healy.
As the plot thickens the isn’t just the case of figuring out who murdered the porn star but what was contained in the star Misty’s movie “What do you think of my car Big Boy ?”. Black blends in splatter all over the film and with slapstick script which create great banter scenes between March and Healy as well as awkward situations with the villains.
The music is on point, choosing cream or cream tracks from the 70’s and even the live band used in a party is ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’ impersonators which made me smile. Little details like abstract art and movie posters really gave the film the feel it needed with references to Star Wars, Jaws 2, The Temptations, Kiss and more.
Overall The Nice Guys is a cheerfully aimless plunge into a colourful noir soul Los Angeles Detective story, Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling play mismatched private eyes who could result in their own spin off series at the end of the movie. Expect a lot of laughs, lots of deaths, swearing and stuff.
Director: Shane Black
Running time: 1 hour, 56 minutes
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