The smoldering 70s will live forever!
Brought to you by the mind of Shane Black (no stranger to detective story-telling and/or unlikely pairings), a good detective flick is always going to be complex, yet intriguing. As it all unfolds, one doesn’t really know what’s going on, and then, when it’s made clear, the entire zig-zag of a journey has added up nicely. Ultimately, granting you the right to have gotten to the bottom of the story. Black’s expertise within the genre has led to many of these twisted tales to shine nicely, despite rugged, cinematic terrain.
THE NICE GUYS is Black’s latest to follow suit. Granting us yet another unlikely pairing, this noir-like piece unleashes during 1970s LA, when down-on-his-luck private investigator Holland March (Gosling) and hired muscle Jackson Healy (Crowe) become the unlikeliest of duo. Reluctantly working together, they set out to find a missing girl who seems to have a target on her back, all along trying to work out twisted links to the violent death of a porn star. During their investigation, March and Healy begin to uncover a mind-boggling conspiracy whose tentacles reach the highest level of power and may just get them both killed.
Now this is a flick with lots to offer, ladies and gentleman. Totally not your color-by-number type that caters to those too lazy to think. THE NICE GUYS challenges and does away with all the numbness we’ve been taking in the last couple of months. This flick is quirky, bizarre, crazy, violent, clever, funny, and most of all different. The underlying plot, told in disjointed fashion, is crude in nature and deserving of attention. The magic it grants is no matter how deeply troubled both leads are, one can’t help but root for them throughout their ballsy adventure riddled with scenarios beyond their expectations.
Not only is it engaging, the overall tone and twisted story feeds off gifted chemistry oozed by Crowe and Gosling, especially when needed to smooth out cynicism. THE NICE GUYS doesn’t hold back on anything other than keeping itself from jumping off the screen as it jerks its leads in any direction called upon by the story. Rarely does a two-hour flick keep itself flirting steadily with disaster, but this one seems to do it well in a form that grips and takes you back to relive a raw era full of attitude, sex, and lots of swag.
Neither the film’s trailers nor its art-work give away as much as you take in. Fast-paced, the intensity of THE NICE GUYS inhales heavily within a narrative and exhales with its chemistry-driven leads.
Grade: A / Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:56
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling
Directed by: Shane Black