As one of the best comedies of 2016, The Nice Guys demonstrates perfectly-timed counter-programming to myriad special effects blockbusters.
The Nice Guys was written and directed by Shane Black, whose credits have spanned decades in the Hollywood scene.
He began his career as an actor and writer (Predator and Lethal Weapon/ The Monster Squad, respectively), and soon ventured into re-writing and directing territory (Last Action Hero and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, once again respectively).
So it makes sense that his newest film would combine his fine-honed talents into a work of pure and unadulterated fun.
Set in 1978, the film follows private detective Holland March who struggles to make any money at the job because he spends most of it on alcohol (much to his twelve year old daughter, Holly’s chagrin).
It’s when he meets the hired muscle, Jackson Healy, where things really get interesting. After a minor work-related beatdown, the two reluctantly join forces to solve the missing persons case of a Justice Department Head’s missing activist daughter.
This film plays out like a buddy comedy and a crime thriller all rolled into one. It’s here that Black’s prior work nurtures this film. You can pick out the influence from Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss in the film’s character interactions, but it’s largely in part to the dynamic chemistry of the two leads, Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.
The two, not normally known for their comedic chops, really sell the characters and the inherent humorous nature of their conflicting values and opinions. It’s rare that such a chemistry can be captured on screen these days.
The Nice Guys also benefits from impeccable subversion of typical summer fare. This of course, is also a double-edged sword, as it gets drowned out by the competition rather than shining more brightly as it should be viewed (in other words: Go see it!).
If you love the fun of the 80s action movies like the aforementioned Lethal Weapon, either of the leads, or just looking for a great theater-going experience, then look no further than The Nice Guys.
Keep up to date with which films may make my Top 10 of 2016 by clicking here.