Director Shane Black (Iron Man 3) returns to his roots of Lethal Weapon (in which he wrote the screenplay) and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. And brings the classic buddy action comedy back to the silver screen. The Nice Guys, one of this summer’s most anticipated movies, pays tribute to 1970s culture with ‘80s-style action and irony.
In 1977, Los Angeles is filled with crime and conspiracy. Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a divorced, middle-aged, non-licensed private detective. His job involves beating the hell out of his client’s enemies for money. Holland March (Ryan Gosling), however, is the exact opposite. He’s an experienced PI but down on his luck. He’s a single father with a 13-year-old daughter Holly (a gifted Angourie Rice).
Unknowingly, the two private eyes team up to investigate the death of porn star Misty Mountains (as happens in the film’s opening scene). Along the way, they track down a girl named Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who might be involved. The situation begins to go all over the place.
One of the reasons The Nice Guys works is the chemistry between Crowe and Gosling. It’s hard to imagine a better duo. They are same but different. They work off each other so flawlessly as two of the worst detectives. There is one scene where a drunken March rolls down a hill and stumbles upon a dead body sitting against a tree. Healy tries to find him, and he responds with a silent scream. Then, they try to get rid of the body by throwing it over a fence and landing on a table during a wedding party. That is one of the movie’s great examples of physical comedy. Who needs an excessive amount of penis jokes if there are references to The Waltons among other original jokes? The jokes don’t stop! With all the wisecracks (“Do you know who else was following orders? Hitler!” March says as a police officer is following orders himself) and sight gags, there is also plenty of fist fights and shootouts to carry through. I enjoyed every bit of this movie.