The Nice Guys is such an entertaining retro action comedy that I had to write about. I had to write about it despite the fact it’s one of the most popular movies of 2016. Mostly because it has huge replay value, enabling you to dissappear in the vibrant seventies. Plus, this is, in case you didn’t know it a buddy cop movie starring two excellent actors. Who knew Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling would make such a good pair? Shane Black already has two great buddy cop movies behind him in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Last Boy Scout, so you could say that he just continued in the same direction.
Since the story is taking place in Los Angeles, The Nice Guys gave off strong L.A. Noire and L.A. Confidential vibes. Although that could be purely because of my profound love for those two things. Just change the atmosphere to a more casual and humorous one and you’ve got the movie we’re talking about today. The narration helps you to stay in this vibrant mood throughout the movie. And since this is Shane Black we’re talking about, the guy who wrote the script for Lethal Weapon, you know that both the dialogue and narration are going to be great.
We will be following two experienced but very different operators trying to locate two missing girls. This mission will lead them to all kinds of side-quests and a lot of trouble. Russel was more of a fatherly old-school figure while Ryan was this young and slick guy using his charm and bad luck to solve cases. And Ryan’s role was more physical with his character finding himself in all sorts of tricky situations. So, we even have physical comedy on top of everything I already mentioned. I have to admit that The Nice Guys doesn’t offer much of a coherent and straightforward story. However, it sure is entertaining, so, we’ll call it a guilty pleasure and be done with it.
It is the year of our lord Satan 1977 and porn star Misty Mountain was just in a horrific car crash. Although she’s presumed dead, her aunt tells the private detective she just hired that Misty is actually alive and well. So, Holland March is now faced with a perplexing mystery he needs to figure out. This case will lead him to all kinds of shady characters among which enforcer Healy will seem like a good guy. And it would appear that the two of them work well together…
With a budget of $50 million, The Nice Guys is a movie that looks and feels great. It’s got that sleek visual style and the cars, clothes and everything else will help you to immerse yourself in the world of the late seventies. Speaking of that world, I guess now’s as good a time as any to list a couple of movie recommendations. So, if you’re looking for movies like The Nice Guys, I suggest you start with a bit grittier Wonderland before moving on to lively Boogie Nights. Action-packed Free Fire is also a good choice along with buddy cop action comedy CHIPS.
Finally, although it takes place a couple of years earlier, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. offers an unparalleled atmosphere and that distinct Guy Ritchie vibe. And I’m not recommending this movie just because my crush Alicia Vikander plays the lead role.
Director: Shane Black
Writers: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger, Jack Kilmer
Fun Facts: Russel Crow liked his character so much that this is one of two movies he wishes there would be a sequel. The other movie is also set in the L.A. of the past as it is L.A. Confidential. It’s also interesting that both him and Ryan Gosling dropped out of the high school to pursue acting.