The Nice Guys (2016)

I have been waiting for The Nice Guys to be released ever since I saw the first trailer last year. I knew immediately that it would be a film that I would like because of the cast and story. Let me just say, my expectations were met and exceeded. I have never laughed so hard in a movie theater before, thanks to this film.

The Nice Guys made its United States debut today, May 20. The film was directed and written by Shane Black, who also directed Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Black was assisted by Anthony Bagarozzi on the screenplay. It stars Ryan Gosling, who plays Holland March, and Russell Crowe, who plays Jackson Healy. This is the first film with the pairing of these two A-list actors, and it should definitely not be the last one.

The film is set in 1977 in Los Angeles, California. The film was actually mostly filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, but one would never know. Holland March (Gosling) is an always-drunk private investigator who does not take his job seriously. He is truly “in it for the money.” March has a thirteen-year-old daughter, Holly, who is played by Angourie Rice. Jackson Healy (Crowe) is a more “under the radar” private investigator who likes to play rough. The two characters cross paths when a girl named Amelia, played by Margaret Qualley, is brought to their attention. March and Healy team up to form an improbable crime fighting duo that brings tons of laughs and entertainment.

I have said this before and I will say it again: Ryan Gosling is at his best when he plays the comedic role. He was perfect in The Big Short as the comedic role and he is perfect in The Nice Guys. Gosling’s timing with his smart aleck remarks are on point. This film contains a lot of slapstick comedy as well, and Gosling flawlessly executes. The witty screenplay helped, but not many actors can carry such a funny role.

Holland March: Look on the bright side. Nobody got hurt.

Jackson Healy: People got hurt.

Holland March: I’m saying, I think they died quickly. So I don’t think they got hurt.

Of course, it helps to have chemistry with the other leading actor. Both Gosling and Crowe compliment each other extremely well. Jackson Healy is more of the straight man, while he lets Holland March make a fool of himself (more often than not). Crowe is great at doing this. His comments about certain situations are ones that the audience can relate to. There are some truly hilarious exchanges between the two characters, whether it is fighting over something trivial during a tense moment or trying to figure out the best way to solve the mystery. The biggest surprise in the cast was probably Angourie Rice. As I mentioned before, she plays Holly March. Even though she is young, Holly March is in some ways more intelligent and effective than her father. Young actors can sometimes overact in their role, but Rice did not. Her character saves the detective duo from several traps and frequently assists them in their investigation. Based on this performance, I would say that her acting career looks promising.

Shane Black knows how to successfully incorporate comedy and drama. He has done it in all of his films. While The Nice Guys is mostly comedic, there are several situations where the audience can feel for and connect with certain characters. One can see that these guys actually have hearts and do not always enjoy going out and killing whomever is in their path. It takes a toll on them. All of the characters have their own story and personality. Although Holland March is a drunk and pretty much a failure (at the beginning), he is a caring father. The characters were not one dimensional.

If you are thinking about going to see this film, I highly recommend it. I could not stop laughing at certain scenes – it was absolutely hysterical! It is a very entertaining story and has a sturdy plot. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe shine in this film with the help of a comical screenplay and several supporting actors like Angourie Rice and Matt Bomer. If you have seen it or have any questions, leave a comment in the section below!

This film is rated R for language, nudity, and violence. There is a lot of cussing and fighting, but nothing too gory. There is some nudity towards the beginning of the film since the story does involve the death of an adult film star.  

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  1. Katy · May 22, 2016

    Nice review! My mom and sister saw this, and thought it was hysterical too. I hope to catch it in theaters but may have to wait until later because of its limited release.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine · May 22, 2016

      Thank you! And yes, definitely see it when you get the chance 🙂


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