Movie Review: The Nice Guys

Details: About two hours long. Stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.

I originally heard about this film after watching some reviews for it on YouTube. It received glowing reviews, which is interesting because it mostly flopped at the box office. After watching this movie, I don’t think it was that great nor was it terrible.

The Nice Guys is a film that attempts to replicate or take inspiration from films like Chinatown with Jack Nicholson, or L.A. Confidential, or any other old noir, detective story. The only difference from those films is the tone; this film is a comedy.

The premise is this: Ryan Gosling plays a private detective and meets Russel Crowe, who plays a thug, while investigating a case. Together they try to solve the case and see where the case leads.

In regards to the plot, the film was very reminiscent of Chinatown in that there was this big subplot involving Detroit and the big three car producers which didn’t really have that big of an impact on the overall story. That’s the thing with noir films, they have all these subplots that don’t really matter. The most interesting part of noir films are the dialogue, the interactions between characters, the surprise twists, and eventually the big reveal of who done it.

While there is certainly elements of suspense and noir here, those elements are not the primary draw of this film. The best parts of this movie are the funny pieces of dialogue between Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling. This movie is essentially two hours of watching these two guys make fun of each other and screw around, which is great if that’s what you’re into. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that entertained.

A noteworthy mention is the actress who played Gosling’s daughter, Angourie Rice. She was good, but good child actors generally creep me the hell out. Rice had a lot of fairly adult lines she was asked to say, which was somewhat uncomfortable. Watching her mostly reminded me of all the child entertainers who tried to make it in show business and mostly grew up into messed up adults. I hope Rice has a better experience with show business.

It was okay. I didn’t find it that funny. The movie tried to be somewhat noir, but noir films generally have a mess of a plot and that was true here. I’d recommend it to Gosling or Crowe fans. I’d also recommend to people who want to see topless women. I saw an R rated version and there was a substantial bit of nudity. If you enjoy seeing young, scantily clad women, you may want to give this film a watch.

Score: 5/10 


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