Movie Review: ‘The Nice Guys’ Are Not So Nice


Almost nobody in ‘The Nice Guys’ is particularly nice. They are not terrible people, but they are all kind of assholes. Which is part of the charm of the movie. Every character is teetering on the edge of depravity and must be redeemed by the slightest act of kindness. Well, everyone except Ryan Gosling’s daughter Holly (Angourie Rice). She is the calm wave in the storm and will melt your heart a little (between all the fucks and gun shots).

The story revolves around porn and pollution. It opens with a sexy porn star named Misty Mountains blowing up in her own car and then follows the fallout. A private detective named Holland (Ryan Gosling) has been hired to find the dead girl (even though we know she’s dead) and a tough guy named Jackson (Russell Crowe) has been hired to beat up the private detective. After a rather awkward beating, and a strange turn of events, the two of them end up working together to find the girl who hired Jackson. This girl apparently looks like Misty Mountains.

Why are they looking for a girl that looks like another girl we already know is dead? Well, it all has to do with porn and pollution. Other than that, you will have to figure out yourself and you will want to. The reason being that this movie is absolutely my favorite comedy so far this year and I don’t want to ruin it for you. Sure, I liked ‘Deadpool’ as much as the next guy, but that movie had one great thing going for it. This movie has several.

The two best things in the movie are easily the wonderful lead actors. Gosling is particularly hilarious as Holland (the fuck up private dick dad). He is a total mess from the first moment we see him. Even when he is figuring things out it is always only half assed. Yet, you can’t help but root for him. I don’t know if it’s because you see a bit of his former self in his daughter, but he is a likable guy.

The other is Russell Crowe and he’s easier to pin down. He’s a guy who life has led one way, but this case is allowing him to go in the direction he wants to. He screws up again and again when it comes to what is morally right. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t be better. Over the course of the films events, he makes a change in himself that he is proud of. Again, this is largely because of Holland’s daughter, Holly. She is the last piece in the puzzle of actors that really make this cast shine.

You also have to give a lot of credit to the writer and director, Shane Black. He could have gone in any direction after directing ‘Iron Man 3’ and instead he returned to his roots with a slightly bigger budget. This movie is clever, witty, violent, and brash. It’s never anything less than entertaining, and it’s always loose on its feet. That’s not something you can say about a lot of pictures. Especially, not ones that flow this smoothly. So, if you haven’t already, go out and buy tickets for this movie. I think you’ll like it a hell of a lot more than the ‘Neighbors’ sequel.

Nathan Ligon

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