The '70s porn industry, murder mystery, real violence and impeccably timed slapstick comedy make The Nice Guys a stand out hit of fresh air; a throwback action-comedy styled in classic buddy fashion.
Director Shane Black (of Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 fame) takes detective duo Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe through a convoluted, crime-solving storyline as disbelieving as it is clever, introducing us to delightful newcomer (and Australian neighbour) Angourie Rice who provides welcome balance as Gosling’s devilishly sweet teenage daughter.
The highlight of the film undoubtedly lies in the chemistry between Gosling and Crowe, each playing a character just-on-the-right-side of law and morality, each brawn or brain for hire to the highest (read: nearly any) bidder.
Not many partnerships begin with one snapping the other’s forearm with a casual 'Give me your left arm, and when you talk to your doctor, tell him you have a spiral fracture of the left radius', but in this case it sets us up to joyfully watch as Holland March’s (Gosling) impish alcoholism is prevented from causing total disaster only by Jackson Healey’s (Crowe) grouchy determination to keep them both in line.
March’s 13-year-old daughter Holly (Angourice Rice) brings a new layer of palpable danger and borderline inappropriate entertainment to the story as we find her thrust into porn industry parties and fighting for her life, at one point even being corrected by her Dad over the misuse of the phrase 'rim job' in place of 'rim shot.'
Together the three leads make for a perfect combination of near misses, lucky breaks and dangerous humor as they work together to solve the crime – all while filling their pockets and finding some sort of moral compass along the way.
Hitting theatres today, The Nice Guys brings us pure old-school entertainment done better than we’ve seen in years. Definitely one to add to your winter watch list!
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
IMBD rating: 8/10
Feature image: screenrant.com