Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice
Director: Shane Black
Running Time: 116 mins
The Nice Guys is an American film about two vastly different private detectives who take on a case to investigate the death of a young ‘actress’ in 1970s LA.
This film is so much fun. It may have taken about half an hour to really get into its stride, but once that happened, The Nice Guys was wall-to-wall hilarious, complete with three excellent comedic performances and brilliant directing from Shane Black, making for a hugely entertaining watch full of excitement, tension and laughs.
If there’s one thing that really makes this film, though, it’s those central performances. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling both take on comedic characters that they’ve never really shone with before, but they both do a fantastic job. Ryan Gosling’s lively turn brilliantly complements one of Russell Crowe’s best ever performances, giving the duo fantastic on-screen chemistry that makes every one of their exploits all the more hilarious.
But it’s not only the two A-listers that really impress here, because the young Angourie Rice, playing Ryan Gosling’s daughter, is just as brilliant. Her performance as the foul-mouthed but mature young girl is both hilarious and impressive, as she makes her character so much more than comedic relief in the form of a swearing kid with a very level-headed performance, making this one of the best young performances since Chloë Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass back in 2010.
The three leads are full of life right the way through this movie, and do brilliantly to make even the lesser parts hugely entertaining. However, the humour itself is still great. Although there weren’t many big laughs in the first act, when The Nice Guys really turns up the madness, and mixes comedy with frantic action and a crazy plot, it becomes consistently hilarious, with loads of great jokes strung together by some absolute belters.
The big takeaway from this film is definitely the comedy, and I guarantee you’ll be laughing your socks off by the end. However, we mustn’t forget the fantastic directing of Shane Black, who makes this film just as engaging and exciting as it is funny.
I definitely have issues with the plot, considering a little too many conveniences and a convoluted final act, but the best thing that Black does is play around with the story’s weaker points and turns them into even more fun. Also, Black does a brilliant job at directing this film’s action, which is hugely entertaining and riveting at the same time, as well as the 70s vibe.
Right from the word go, you feel fully immersed in 1977 LA, as if the time period is an essential characteristic to the film. Sometimes, a film can just be set in the past for a change-up from the norm, but in The Nice Guys, the 70s atmosphere fits perfectly with the manic, hyperbolic buddy cop vibe the film is going for, and that’s just another great detail that cements what a great film this is.
Overall, I loved The Nice Guys. It’s exciting, engaging and absolutely hilarious to watch, particularly thanks to its three lead performances. Its story may be a little on the weak side at times, but on the whole, the film is an absolute riot of a watch throughout, and that’s why it gets an 8.5 from me.