The Nice Guys is very entertaining. I haven’t watched many buddy-cop movies (although I would love to) so this ‘sub-genre’ isn’t something I’m all too familiar with. But I don’t need to know all the buddy cop movies to really enjoy myself. Seriously, if you really want to have a good time, just watch The Nice Guys. The moment the funky tune started playing to the opening shot of L.A’s skyline, I was completely hooked. This movie feeds off Ryan Gosling awkwardness and Russell Crowe’s combativeness to create suckerpunch after suckerpunch of humour and laughs. I still think this isn’t anything more than the buddy-cop comedy movie that you’ve seen before. Nevertheless, if you want to chill and have a good time, or cough out louder laughs than you normally would, The Nice Guys is the perfect film.
Now I don’t agree with what some people are calling a ‘throwback’ to the great crime comedies of the past. And to compare it to Pulp Fiction is just frankly getting abit out of line. There are influences but this felt nothing like it. To be honest, it felt more like Rush Hour than anything else…which isn’t a bad thing. I just don’t agree with how the movie has been overblown into something more than what it actually is – A straight up buddy-cop feel good comedy. It will overwhelm you with its deadpan humour and even get you invested in the shady world of L.A laced with corruption and conspiracy. But The Nice Guys isn’t going to wow you with deep thematic elements.
Russell Crowe’s Jackson Healy and Ryan Gosling’s Holland March are two characters that I haven’t seen in a long time. They are fresh and original. There’s usually a tendency to feed off archetypes when constructing a film like this, but Shane Black manages to stay clear of that. Partly due to the duo’s individual awkward charm, they create an even more unstable and dynamic pair. I loved Ryan Gosling’s neither too-serious nor too-relaxed kind of take on his character. Other than super serious roles (which people don’t give him enough credit for), I think Gosling might have just found another niche in his acting repertoire. And I really liked Russell Crowe’s acting as well. I thought he hit all the right notes on comedic timing. I’ll give props to their on-screen chemistry; It didn’t feel forced nor fabricated. And it is this ragtag of clashing personalities and their resulting friendship that makes the humour feel original. That was all I needed to really enjoy the film. And for the laughs? I had plenty! Watching them shamble around L.A and stumbling through sticky situations together is a treat in itself.
The story itself is pretty good. Although I found myself maybe phasing out once or twice, it was quite suspenseful. During these moments, I felt as if the movie was going to have some sort of cliche resolution for their problems. And I was right. The problem I had with The Nice Guys was how it didn’t make me feel that anything was going to be consequential. The humour was aplenty but there isn’t that moment that grips you seriously; The violence was all there but, it too, was also insignificant. Thus, it isn’t a neo-noir film that some have called it. Moments of crises do not enlighten nor strike us. In essence, it is just comedy done well. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you want a super enjoyable night out with your pals, or some way to pass time without thinking too much, The Nice Guys is the way to go. It’s creative humour, effort in making it original as well as the slapsticky deadpan charisma from Crowe and Gosling make The Nice Guys one hell of a joyride.