I went into this film with quite high expectations. I’m a big fan of Shane Black. Whilst I didn’t enjoy Iron Man 3 very much, Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Last Boy Scout are all great films. I can say that I was not disappointed by The Nice Guys and can safely add it to the list of great films Black has made.
To describe the plot in too much detail would give things away, but just know that a girl is missing and two private detectives must team up to find her and unravel the mystery surrounding this case. The plot does get fairly complicated but it is never too hard to follow. The real joy of this film comes from the pairing of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. I’m a fan of both actors so there was a slim chance I’d be disappointed, but both are even better than I imagined! Hilarious, sincere and fully fleshed out, both bring life to their characters with all the energy and flair you could expect from two acting pros.
Everything in this film works. Aside from the leads, every other character in the film is equally great, including Ryan Gosling’s character’s daughter who is barely annoying at all (which is saying something for a kid in a film!). The 70s soundtrack is used to great effect with some absolute classics thrown in there and the general style and aesthetic is equally slick and stylish. Black’s trademark dialogue is on full show here, as is his storytelling and directing style which he seems to have perfected now. The film flows almost as well as the dialogue and whilst the plot thickens the characters keep it clear enough to follow.
I can’t sing the praises of this film enough. It’s great! A great crime comedy is a hard thing to come by most of the time but this is one for the ages. A Shane Black classic in the making, The Nice Guys is a film that delivers on every level.
JACK’S SCORE: 5/5