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Movie Review: The Nice Guys

Cary, NC – The Nice Guys, written and directed by Shane Black, is a hilarious buddy comedy with Russell Crowe and a knockout comedic performance by Ryan Gosling.

Great Addition To Buddy Cop Genre

The buddy comedy has been around almost as long as cinema itself, and while The Nice Guys doesn’t exactly break new ground in the genre, writer/director Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) has such a unique voice and strong understanding of it, he once again makes a prime example of how to do it right, after such classics as Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which many credit with getting Robert Downey Jr. the lead in Iron Man.

Set in Los Angeles in 1977, Crowe stars as Jackson Healy, a not-quite private investigator who takes care of unwelcome or unwanted patrons for a price. He stumbles onto a case that eventually teams him up with actual P.I. and drunk Holland March, played by Gosling, leading them both down a path so convoluted and sleazy that even the best detective yarns would be jealous.

Crowe Is Great, Gosling Is Better In Amazing Comedic Performance

Crowe has never been known for his sense of humor, and while he mostly plays it straight to Gosling’s incredible buffoon, Crowe proves himself more than willing to shell out the one-liners as fast and convincingly as anyone else. It doesn’t hurt that he still knows his way around a fight scene either, as he’s able to blend lots of action and humor together during many tussles. Hopefully other directors take suit and get this guy in more comedies, stat.

Unlike Crowe, heartthrob Gosling has hinted at a strong comedic side a few times, in films like Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Big Short. But here, Gosling has found a new career as a physical comedian. There is one scene in particular in a bathroom stall that might be the hands down funniest moment of the year, and it’s all thanks to Gosling’s reaction and timing. Even with the great pratfalls, Gosling still manages to make the character believable with a hint of tragedy just underneath the surface. The film never takes itself too seriously, but it goes out of its way to keep these characters relatable and Gosling works overtime to prove that.

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Special mention must be made to newcomer Angourie Rice, who plays Gosling’s daughter. A natural detective just like her father, Rice completes this dynamic trio and is just as good as Crowe and Gosling. It’s always a bit of a risk putting a child actor in a film like this, a feat Black has pulled off before, and once again it’s a great addition. Rice is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. Disappointed in her alcoholic father while also pushing him to be the best he can be. It’s a great performance from the young star and I’m curious to see where she goes from here.

Hilarious Detective Story Well Worth Seeing

A film like The Nice Guys lives and breathes on chemistry, and stars Crowe and Gosling are an ideal pairing. The film is hilarious and gross and sleazy in all the ways a detective story should be. Do yourself a favor and see The Nice Guys immediately.


Jordan Hunt covers movies for CaryCitizen. Read more Movie Reviews. Photos from Facebook.