The Nice Guys, a film by Shane Black, tells the story of how a "Hollywood muscle" and "the world's worst detective" team up to solve a most unusual case involving a dead porn star who might be alive and a missing girl who everyone wants to kill. The film features acting performances by Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Keith Davod, Beau Knapp, and Kim Basinger.
Over the past three decades, Shane Black has written and/or directed some really, really good movies including the Lethal Weapon series, Last Action Hero, Iron Man 3, and The Monster Squad (bonus points for you if you remember that one!). While The Nice Guys won't become part of the cinematic lore like some of these other films, it is still a very well made, entertaining, and genuinely funny movie to watch. The story is very strange yet not enough to alienate the audience and the comedy is as smart as it is hilarious, especially when it comes to the interactions between Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. Gosling is absolutely brilliant as a drunken private detective who is actually much better at his job than he lets on. In the film, his daughter declares him to be the "worst private detective ever" and, in the most hilarious ways, he makes it very hard to argue.
Individually, each actor shines like they always seem to do, but when the pair are thrown together, that's when the magic really happens and I could see these guys, along with Black, successfully pulling off a sequel or two if all parties were interested. The supporting cast features a roster of complementary personalities like Keith David, Kim Basinger, and Matt Bomer, along with newcomer, and soon to be star, Angourie Rice. The look of the film is slick, stylish, and very 70's. The wardrobe and set design departments did a fantastic job recreating not only the look, but the feel and textures of that most psychedelic of eras.
The Nice Guys is a fantastic film featuring two outstanding performances and an unpredictable story that will leave you twisting and turning all the way to the very end. The movie comes out guns blazing, leaves a trail of bodies, broken bones, and empty bottles across a stylishly stylized 1970's L.A., and makes you wonder why Crowe and Gosling have never worked together before. Go see this movie.