Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Film Review: The Nice Guys (2016)

The Nice Guys (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Whether you like black comedy or some old fashioned slapstick, The Nice Guys has a little of everything for everyone."

Private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) join forces to find a missing girl...

The Nice Guys is a noir mystery-comedy set in 1977 Los Angeles. March, a clumsy private detective, is hired to find Amelia. Amelia, who does not want to be found, hires Healy to scare off March – and it works. However, when armed men show up at Healy's home and ask about Amelia, he is forced to join forces with March to solve a very important mystery: who is Amelia and why are so many people after her? This mystery leads them into a conspiracy involving the auto industry, the porn industry, and the U.S. government. The plot always stays on its toes, upping the ante with each twist and turn. There is plenty of mystery, action, and humor to fill up the near two-hour runtime. And, it leads to a satisfying ending.

The Nice Guys is a great film. I watched this without watching any trailers prior, so I was completely blind when going into this film. Fortunately, I left satisfied and entertained. It's a stylish 70s noir filled with humor. As a matter of fact, I'd say this is a comedy before anything else. Sure, the mystery is tight and engaging, but this film made me laugh from beginning to end. It was hilarious. Whether you like black comedy or some old fashioned slapstick, The Nice Guys has a little of everything for everyone. I'm laughing as I write this review and think about some of my favorite scenes. From the breaking-and-entering gone wrong to the dream sequence in the car, this is hilarious.

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are stellar together. Gosling usually plays the cool, silent, and brooding man. Here, we have a much more relaxed Gosling – and it works. Crowe is as charismatic as ever, too. The film was shot well and the music matched the mood. I'm not a 70s professional, but the wardrobe and set design seemed to fit the era. It felt authentic. The film was written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi; Black also directs. The writing and direction are great. I didn't really have any problems with the film. Yes, it is contrived, filled with convenient scenes, but I felt that was part of the film. It certainly didn't feel like it was using plot contrivances as crutches. It all just blends well together.

Overall, The Nice Guys is a great movie. It's an exciting and hilarious mystery. Gosling and Crowe are great as the leads, sharing plenty of on-screen chemistry. If you like noir movies, if you like absurd comedies, this is for you.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Violence, blood, and some sex and nudity.

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