After an impressive opening sequence involving a centrefold, the plot focuses on an unfortunate meeting with private investigator Holland March (Gosling) and thug/enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe), who team up to find a missing porn star that is involved in a conspiracy plot with pollution and the auto industry.
The characters are missing some background as information is given, but never concluded giving the viewer to fill in the blanks or speculate, especially with March and Healy regarding their pasts. We don’t know if this was left on the cutting room floor or if this was in the script itself, but I think it would have given deeper insight to the protagonists.
Crowe has his tough guy enforcer image down, He’s solid and bulky which contrasts Gosling’s Slim Callaghan look and they make a good pairing on screen.
Other stand out performances feature hit men, Older Guy and Blueface (Keith David and Beau Knapp) as hired killers who have a few run-ins with our heroes as well as the impressive and perky, Angourie Rice as Holland’s daughter; Holly and the psychotic assassin, known as John Boy; due to his similarity in looks to the character from The Waltons.
The beautiful, Kim Basinger and an unrecognisable Gil Gerard have minor, but pivotal roles that orbit in and out of the detective’s case.
Outstanding cinematography, set design and VFX all capture the mood of ‘70s Los Angeles and Hollywood enhanced by a dynamite ‘70s soundtrack bring back places that don’t even exist anymore. As someone who grew up in that time period, this writer can tell you they did an incredible, authentic job all around.Shane Black’s crisp dialogue, a gift he uniquely has, is a standout and does a solid job in the directing department and keeps the action moving, but it’s a sense of Deja vu that we’ve seen this all before plot wise in his previous films especially in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
THE NICE GUYS / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: SHANE BLACK / SCREENPLAY: SHANE BLACK, ANTHONY BAGAROZZI / STARRING: RUSSELL CROWE, RYAN GOSLING, ANGOURIE RICE, GIL GERRARD, KIM BASINGER., KEITH DAVID, BEAU KNAPP, MATT BOMER / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 3RD