Nice and funny.
The Nice Guys is an action-filled buddy comedy from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer director (and Lethal Weapon series screenwriter) Shane Black. Safe to say, he’s the guy you want to write and direct a film that pairs Russell Crowe with Ryan Gosling as mismatched private eyes.
Both actors excel at turning their leading man gravitas badge in for Abbott and Costello-inspired slapstick and comedic banter. Gosling is on a roll, following comic turns in The Big Short (2015) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011), and Crowe hasn’t been this funny since he attempted to sing in Les Miserables (2012).
A slapstick violence film? This could have been terrible; it is not. I found it to be a refreshing break from all those recent buddy comedies that have Farrell, Rudd or Wahlberg as lead. Unfortunately, the classic noir story is a trite one. I’ve seen many “girl gone missing” stories play out better on TV shows “and stuff.”
For anyone who wanted a follow up to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), this is almost that clever. (Robert Downey Jr. just makes everything a little better, doesn’t he?)
Simply put: Not great, but nice. Nice and funny.
Award potential: Kim Bassinger, who won an Oscar for her role in L.A. Confidential (1997) with Crowe, is now more likely to win unintended laughs for her rusty, puzzling performance.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.