The Nice Guys (2016. IMDB 7.4/10)
Completely unsurprisingly and mind numbingly stupid as it sounds : News has broke that Fox is commissioning a gender swapped* series reboot of ‘Nice Guys’.
(*Just as a side note before I get into this review – to the sordid and sexually overbearing studios that populate Hollywood : GENDER SWAPPING IS A LAZY PRACTICE. REBOOTING IS LAZY PRACTICE. IT’S NOT BIG AND IT’S NOT CLEVER. THERES MORE THAN ENOUGH ORIGINAL IDEAS OUT THERE AND THE PEOPLE TO PRODUCE THEM.)
Going in I hadn’t heard much about this one. Being that I identify as male I had largely steered clear of Ryan Gosling up until this point (that is unless he is refusing to eat his cereal). I was comforted to see the name Shane Black pop up in the opening sequence which put my mind at ease. Having read up on the film after my initial viewing I found that it was well received by audiences and critics – not that it usually sways my opinion either way (I don’t care what anybody says – ‘Last Action Hero’ is a treasure of a film, A TREASURE!), but sometimes that can be a good sign.
From the off set you get that pulp detective novel feel, maybe its the typography, the soundtrack or the wardrobe themeing that is spot on without being cheesy, or maybe its just that this film is lovingly steeped in 70s culture. I’ll avoid drawing any parallels with ‘The Big Lebowski’, but those parallells are stylistically present in plot points and delivery at least.
Great performances from both Crowe (seemingly morphing into Ray Winston) and particularly Gosling in this one. Their characters are amiable and flawed in equal measure which made for a captivating ride. There was definitely a sense of the unexpected which shone throughout.
Without delving too deep into the spoilers – the film contained a fantastic scene involving a protest group which is very reminiscent of modern American college campuses. In my opinion it was a scathing commentary on the offence culture we are currently afflicted by.
The joy of this film is to be found in its straight faced-portrayal of slapstick comedy. Physical humour is carried out subtly and tastefully with Crowes character very much playing the straight-man in many sequences. This is observed to great effect during the party scene.
Approaching the end of the film I found myself pondering the next step for Healy and March. This was one of the few films where I haven’t felt precious about the notion of a sequel. Sure, i’m very much a believer in the notion that sequels should be a continuation of a characters journey – another chapter that NEEDS to be told – but if this is their only outing then its very much a contained one. Their chemistry is so dysfunctional yet synchronistic that it could work again if the story was just right but why waste the notion.