Directed by: Shane Black.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Beau Knapp, Yaya DaCosta, Ty Simpkins.
UK release date: 3rd June 2016.
After tackling the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man 3 in 2013, Shane Black is back directing a neo-noir mystery set amidst the late 70s. Enforcer Jackson Healey (Crowe) and private detective Holland March (Gosling) team up to solve a case that involves deceased porn star Misty Mountains and missing girl Amelia. Along with the help of March’s young daughter, Holly, the pair find that there is more to this missing person’s case than they first believed.
Angourie Rice is set to become pretty special in the near future, her performance as Holly is one of the reasons that March is likeable. With March’s questionable skills as a private detective and unusual leading man personality, Holly is smart and mature, and is easily the third cop in this film. Furthermore without Crowe, Gosling and Rice, The Nice Guys would probably not be as entertaining, for the narrative is quite standard.
While the opening scene impeccably sets the tone, pre-teen Bobby (Simpkins) sneaks into his parents bedroom for a porn magazine and later finds the star, Misty Mountains, naked in a car crash with his house, the film starts a bit slow. It takes a while for the comedy and mystery thriller genres to merge together seamlessly and even then, The Nice Guys seems to pick and choose when to be either.
Less like Iron Man 3 and more akin to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nice Guys is funny, cool and, at times, quite sweet. Gosling and Crowe are marvellous on screen together and are undoubtedly the reason why this buddy (or rather anti-buddy) cop film works.