Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91% (Critics) / 83% (Audience)
Directed By: Shane Black
Written By: Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer and Kim Basinger
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Synopsis: A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles. – (Source)
Shane Black’s script (with co-writer Anthony Bagarozzi) is full of snappy and witty dialogue that Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling deliver perfectly. Crowe and Gosling also have a very unexpected chemistry. They are an unlikely acting duo to star in a buddy movie but they pull it off with ease. Gosling also proves to be a surprisingly gifted physical comedian. And this film also gives audiences a rarity in Hollywood films…a precocious child who is likable and engaging instead of obnoxious and grating thanks to Black’s directing and the excellent performance of 15 year old actress Angourie Rice. You’d never even know she was Australian either because her American accent is that good. Actually the entire supporting cast was top notch.
And I love Black’s depiction of the seediness of 1970s Los Angeles as it really lends itself to the film noir nature of this private eye tale.
The big reveal of the conspiracy behind all of the trouble that Crowe and Gosling’s characters run into is a lot more muddled and unclear than one would expect from a writer like Black.
Black made it an issue that Gosling’s character had a pretty bad drinking problem yet there is never any real resolution or even a moment where he faces the problem and makes any type of realization about how it effects his daughter and his job. That just seemed like a glaring omission to me.
Final Verdict: Having Shane Black back in the genre of film he does best with an unlikely duo who have amazing chemistry helps to make THE NICE GUYS a wonderfully entertaining time at the old cinema. This is a movie that should not be missed.