Shane Black specializes in a certain type of movie, and that type of movie is Lethal Weapon. You know, two guys against the odds taking down something bigger than themselves. One is guy is funny and the other is the straight man who might just be too old for this. The Nice Guys fits very well in that mold, except it takes place 1977. Though credit were credit is due, no one does Lethal Weapon better than Shane Black.
The movie begins with hired muscle Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) ‘convincing’ PI Holland March (Ryan Gosling) to stop bothering Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley). March quickly complies because he was actually looking for porn star Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio), who he knows is dead, but he is making a quick buck off Misty’s aunt, so he was just tracking down Misty’s friends to make it look like he was working. It turns out a lot of Amelia’s friends are dead. Of course this all leads down a crazy rabbit hole neither Healy or March are prepared for.
The time and the place of the film do help The Nice Guys feel a little different from Black’s other action comedies, but in all honestly, I knew what I was in for as soon as I started the movie. It would be like expecting something new from a Guy Ritchie gangster film. They are all the same, but they are also all very good. If you do something well and people like it, why try and reinvent the wheel.
Crowe and Gosling were perfect for this film. They are both talented actors who nailed their roles. Crowe’s Healy is an old pro who wants to do his job well and get things done the right way. While Gosling’s March is just trying to get paid while getting as many free drinks as he can, but that doesn’t stop him from knowing what he is doing every now and than. Much like other Shane Black films all the women in this film were pretty much props with the exception of Angourie Rice who plays March’s spunky teenage daughter Holly.
The Nice Guys is a funny film with plenty of action, and if that is what you want, you will be very happy. If you are expecting something new and fresh, you will have to look somewhere else. This film is Shane Black doing what Shane Black does and having a good time doing it, and I had a good time watching it. One word of warning though, since the background of this movie is the 1970’s porn industry it does earn its ‘R’ rating. I would hate for you to say I didn’t warn you.