In theaters this week from writer/director Shane Black and Warner Brothers comes a twist in crime when taken on by “The Nice Guys.”
Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a legit private investigator who is having problems with life. His young daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) keeps him in check and tries to overlook the crazy decisions and drinking. Currently March is helping an elderly woman find her daughter Misty Mountains.
Their world is abort to change when they meet Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) an under-the-radar wanna-be P.I. who gets jobs when he can. His newest job comes courtesy of Amelia (Margaret Qualley) who wants Healy to take care of someone who has been stalking her.
That’s how March and Healy meet discovering they are actually trying to solve the same mystery. It doesn’t take long for trouble to show up with weaponry wanting them both to go away.
March and Healy are not going to take it all lying down, at least without answers to what happened to Misty, who is Amelia and why is bad guy John Boy (Matt Bomer) out for them!
It’s just another case in the ’70s!
Gosling as Holland March is endearing as a P.I. who knows what he’s doing — when he isn’t two sheets to the wind. Dealing with a young daughter with a healthy case of the smarts, March has a good heart, sort of. I actually liked Gosling’s performance but more so when his co-stars are getting the better if him.
Crowe as Jackson Healy is a hard-ass who doesn’t want anyone to know he’s got a soft spot. Of course he has no problem beating up a bad guy or two or three or four. It is March’s daughter Holly who brings out the best in him. It is funny watching Crowe be the straight-guy to Goslings character and I’d like to never be on his bad side.
Angourie as daughter Holly is smart, funny, opinionated and headstrong. She would have to be hanging around The Nice Guys. Holly doesn’t hold back saying exactly what needs saying, even to a father lost in a bottle. The party scene wasn’t my favorite and didn’t see the need for it as it lent nothing to the story but that’s the Mom in me talking.
Kim Bassinger as Judith Kuttner has her five minutes in the film as Amelia’s mother who also happens to be a Federal Agent. It was fun to see Bud White and Lynn Bracken (yes, that would be an “L.A. Confidential” reference) together again in the name of corruption.
Shout out to Yaya DaCosta as Tally who catches March’s’ eye. Also, I have to mention Lance Butler because this kid has comedic timing that is hilarious and I look forward to seeing more from him.
Other cast in the film include Keith David as Older Guy, Beau Knapp as Blueface, Gil Gerard as Bergen Paulsen, Daisy Tahan as Jessica, Jack Kilmer as Chet, and Murielle Telio as Misty Mountains.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Nice Guys” three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is a nice buddy P.I. film with two actors who absolutely work well together and I enjoyed watching them bounce off one another. The problem is the two-hour length of the film because it is 15 to 20 minutes too long.
After some time it becomes a chore to continue investing attention in to a story that is dragging out just for the sake of dragging out. I’d make the first cut at the scene with Holly at the party. The music is fun, the costuming is very familiar and the cars are awesome which give the film serious points.
In the end — they are a nice pair!