The Nice Guys (DVD) is a 2016 American neo-noir action comedy film directed by Shane Black and written by Black and Anthony Bagarozzi. The film stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David, and Kim Basinger. Set in the year 1977, the film stays playfully committed to its intended aesthetic and point of reference. The cinematography presents Los Angeles with a consistently dismal atmosphere, capturing the energy of a story and an environment that is its own breed of sophistication and simplicity.
The chemistry between Gosling and Crowe as actors and characters is exquisitely charming. Crowe sticks to his usual stoicism, and Gosling’s contributions offer some amount of wit and whimsical naivety into scenes that would otherwise be contextually inappropriate. The result is a pair of individuals that bicker as much as they bond, with interactions that are sure to make viewers genuinely “laugh-out-loud” and see their shenanigans through until the conclusion.
The Nice Guys was my favorite movie of 2016, a crime thriller with an oddball bromance and a truly touching family story. The movie changed our vernacular, for the better. Gosling’s star is rising, so I am hopeful for a sequel. The interplay between Gosling’s goofiness and Crowe’s dark and brooding presence, along with the fantastic performance by Angourie Rice, makes this movie a standout in the buddy comedy genre.
However, the film does have its drawbacks. The plot is convoluted, and the primary “villain” is largely forgettable. The dialogue at times seems forced, and the script tries too hard to be a slapstick-ish and buddy comedy. Some viewers may find the movie slow to engage with, and the humor may not resonate with everyone.
Despite its flaws, The Nice Guys entertains with a mix of smart ‘mystery’ to sleuth, physical comedy, action, and humor. It truly was entertaining and accomplished exactly what I needed: a reprieve from a crappy day. If you enjoy the lead actors, you will enjoy them together in this great crime murder mystery. I highly recommend this movie for those who appreciate dark humor and a unique take on the buddy comedy genre.