REVIEW: Shane Black’s ‘Nice Guys’ Is A Fun Throwback To The 70s

Director Shane Black takes audiences back to the 1970s in “The Nice Guys,” a movie that brings together Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.

The movie begins with Crowe’s character Jackson, an enforcer and Gosling’s character Holland, a private investigator, at odds with each other over a case.

Circumstances related to the case force the two into a team-up, though, and they get some help from Holland’s daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) along the way, too.

The mismatched buddy comedy is a genre that’s been around for quite some time, so it’s always nice to see one that brings a fresh take. “The Nice Guys” is exactly that.

While taking the conventional route at times, “The Nice Guys” still manages to be a funny, smart and interesting noir detective picture thanks to Shane Black’s direction. Scene after scene, the movie is able to both unravel its mystery, while still delivering plenty of laughs.

Along with having solid comedy and a well paced story, the film can also tout being a 70s period piece that captures the style and feel of the time, but doesn’t make it overwhelming. This leads to the movie being a fun throwback rather than the 70s aspects coming off as a gimmick.

Like any movie that features a pair of cops/detectives, the performances and chemistry between the leads is paramount. Fortunately, the on screen performances from Crowe and Gosling are on point.

The two actors play off each other really well, each brandishing their own types of comedic delivery and also managing to make their characters feel believable, rather than simple ‘buddy cop’ archetypes.

Another strong performer featured in the film was Rice, who more or less provided the film’s emotional core. The character was well written and Rice was able to have good interactions with both lead actors.

The film isn’t without its share of issues, though. The movie went on a little too long, so it could have certainly used some trimming and there were some moments that felt a little too sappy in comparison to what else was going on in the picture.

That said, “The Nice Guys” is one of the best movies to come out in 2016 so far. It’s very humorous, it recreates the look of 70s L.A. and develops fun characters. High 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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