Monday, June 19, 2017

Movie Review - The Nice Guys

The Nice Guys (2016)
Starring Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley, Keith David, and Kim Basinger
Directed by Shane Black
***This film is currently streaming via HBO Go/Now***

Director/co-writer Shane Black has created a film in The Nice Guys that perfectly captures the retro 1970s feel of low budget flicks of that era.  This humorous, light-hearted, and slickly seedy vibe along with the chemistry of the film's two stars -- Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling -- help to elevate a film that unfortunately doesn't quite flow as well as it should, overstaying its welcome by a good twenty-five minutes.

With a much more convoluted plot than is typical of comedies, The Nice Guys revolves around the case of two missing girls.  One is popular porn star Misty Mountains and the other is Amelia Kutner (Margaret Qualley), the daughter of the Los Angeles District Attorney Judith Kutner (Kim Basinger) -- somehow these two disappearances wind up connected through an intricate web of deceit.  It's up to beleaguered (and alcoholic) private investigator Holland March (Gosling) and fellow dick (who's also quite a dick) Jackson Healy (Crowe) to try and figure out exactly what happened.  Along with the help of Holland's tween daughter Holly (Angourie Rice), the trio delve into the seedy world of porn, the unethical business practices of the auto industry, and the perhaps criminal LA law enforcement to try and find out why Misty and Amelia have gone missing.

While I appreciated the intricate plot, it's a bit too complicated to find its footing, although admittedly the kitschy tone helps create an overarching amusement throughout.  Gosling and Crowe are perfect comedic adversaries to one another and their biting repartee is undoubtedly the best part of the piece. Gosling is charmingly rotten, Crowe is bitterly humorous, and together these two men not known for their comedic roles shine where most may doubt they could.  Still, Shane Black's film goes on too long with the aforementioned lengthy plot proving to be a bit too serpentine for its own good.  The Nice Guys is aesthetically pleasing and well-acted, but in the end it's a disappointment.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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