When hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) unwittingly teams up with private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling), the mismatched pair find themselves drawn into a conspiracy that involves the death of a fading adult film star, and the missing daughter of the head of the Department of Justice. With time running out, it’s a race against the clock to solve a case that could have major consequences for the the city of Los Angeles.
Writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Lethal Weapon) returns to the big screen with a bang in this completely original and very sharp noir crime comedy. Black is no stranger to the concepts or the characters of the detective genre, and here he goes all-out creating two memorable, and often booze-soaked characters to rival Philip Marlowe. Black also throws his audience into the seedy period rich world of 1970s Hollywood with a disco-charged score to cruise along to.
Russell Crowe takes on the role of heavy set bruiser Jackson Healy, and he really nails it in terms of characterisation and nuance as the more sensible, if more violent half of the duo. Crowe portrays Healy as an unscrupulous collector with a heart of gold, a tough guy who’ll do you a good deed for a good price, and who never asks questions. But once he stumbles onto a case that’s bigger than himself, his usual back alley ethics no longer apply, and he’s forced to become emotionally involved.
Side by side with Crowe is Ryan Gosling as Holland March, an idiotic, boozer loser private eye who finds himself caught up in extraordinary events alongside Healy. Gosling is nothing short of pure comic genius as March, who’s always willing to be inappropriate in the best possible way. This is unlike anything Gosling has ever done before, and audiences will be laughing uncontrollably at his on-screen antics.
Stuck between the world’s ‘worst detectives’ is newcomer Angourie Rice who steals the movie as March’s daughter Holly. Unlike her father, she’s smart, quick, and has a handle on life, as well as the ability to drive. No matter who her co-star is, Rice is always the scene stealer, and her future as an actress is sure to be bright. Also co-starring in The Nice Guys is real life ‘nice guy’ Matt Bomer who sheds his friendly image as the sociopathic Walton-like assassin John Boy. Bomer is completely chilling, and his cool demeanor makes for an even more terrifying performance.
The Nice Guys sets the standard for one of the coolest character pairings of the last twenty years, and I’m sure it’s destined to be pointed to as one of the best buddy cop films of all time. So make sure you get in on this case, because you can trust the Nice Guys to deliver the goods.
Image: Roadshow Films