‘The Nice Guys’ Review

Acclaimed director Shane Black is back and better than ever in ‘The Nice Guys.’

the nice guys
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

Widely-renowned writer and director Shane Black has had a massive helping hand in some of your favorite blockbusters from yesteryear. Does Lethal Weapon ring a bell? How about Predator? Well, like it or not, Black is taking his newest project back even farther than the movies that got him on the map. And that little dazzle of quirky storytelling magic is The Nice Guys, a film that is stuck in an era for all the right reasons.

This true testament to crime-caping action dramedies everywhere follows Holland March (Ryan Gosling), a drunken private investigator with a motherless daughter and no pride to his name. However, his luck turns around after coming across a new job opportunity with Jackson Heally (Russell Crowe), a hired messenger with a violent agenda. Upon looking for a missing girl named “Amelia”, the two grow an unlikely friendship as they come across one of the largest political conspiracies that 1977 Los Angeles has to offer.

The Nice Guys is most certainly all shiny in its 70s nostalgia and memorabilia. Nonetheless, what’s really eye-catching is its weird commodity. Its originality comes out of something you’ve seen before. Similar to a Lethal Weapon installment, this film is a throwback to the classic archetype of an unlikely duo and jumps around itself for the sake of a punchline. In other words, it is jam-packed with hearty laughs to supplement the heart that it tries to build upon. Gosling and Crowe, a seldom pair for sure, find chemistry in the mismatch and are on their feet the whole time (both in their action and dialogue).

“How do I describe The Nice Guys?” said Vincent Zang, a fellow-filmgoer with a love for action comedies. “It was flavorful, full of color. Taste? Exotic. It’s the American dream, fast forward.”

Overall, this two-hour, genre-defying masterpiece is a perfect example of why Shane Black has been in the business for so long. The premise works, the storyline is full of twists and pleasantly-unexpected bends, and the characters fit the clothes that they wear, from top to bell-bottom. The Nice Guys is a great start to summer’s blockbuster line-up, because it’s a healthy reminder of what happens when reminiscing becomes a secret weapon in the film business.

Lesson learned: no more holding back that secret weapon, Hollywood. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

The Nice Guys is now playing in movie theaters everywhere! Some local venues include AMC Clifton Commons 16, AMC Loews Wayne 14 and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas in the heart of downtown Montclair. For a list of even more theaters and show-times, visit www.fandango.com today!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login