The Nice Guys Movie Review
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There has been and always will be a special place in our hearts for reluctant and unorthodox crime fighting duos. Every pair from Rush Hour (1998) to Turner & Hooch (1989) have given audiences countless laughs as we explore the dynamics of a pairing that in real life, simply would not work. Alas, this is movie magic and everything rights itself in the cinematic world. Fortunately, The Nice Guys appears, at least at first glance, to have all the makings of that next memorable duo.
We are in 1977’s Los Angeles and “Nice” Guys Holland March and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) are anything but. March (Ryan Gosling) is a private eye with some con artist tendencies. He’s not actually great (some may argue that he’s not even good) at his job, he mostly fumbles his way through cases in between alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile, Mr. Healy is quite good at being a muscle for hire, so to speak. People hire him to punch first, and not really ask questions ever. As to be expected, this unlikely pair, the goofy for hire investigator and the stoic for hire enforcer, eventually end up working together to solve the complex mystery of the century.
What began as a simple missing person’s case unravels statement making porn films, cooperate cover ups, and involvement with the justice department. While the plot itself is certainly…developed, it’s not too difficult to follow and one will find themselves enjoying every moment that March has screen time. Gosling proves to be incredibly comical. Crowe’s delivery of the dry dialogue feed off of his partner’s flaky personality, perfectly.
March’s 13 year old daughter Holly is a constant throughout the film and while it adds a level of responsibility to March’s persona, often times she feels unnecessary. In addition to reminding March that he needs to get it together, she also has the purpose of reminding Healy of his human side. Growth is important for characters, but I’m not all together convinced that our two for hire crime fighters could not have gotten there without a child to protect. One who (of course) never listens and is constantly throwing herself into the case. Speaking of silly add-ons, Matt Boomer makes an appearance as a master assassin.
Overall, I would log The Nice Guys as an action-comedy and would not be surprised if it spawns a sequel. The chemistry is there, the audience received the jokes wholeheartedly, and from start to finish it was a fun time.