Movie Review: The Nice Guys

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

There is no doubt audiences will enjoy “The Nice Guys”, set in Los Angeles in the mid-70s, takes on an off-color yet charming brand of humor, with the dramatic appeal of Russell Crowe and the comedic appeal of Ryan Gosling featuring heavily in the film. As co-stars, the two would seem like an unlikely pairing. Crowe is most known for his dramatic, non-comedic roles in movies like “Gladiator”, while Gosling, is known primarily for his starring roles in romantic comedies.

All in all, it’s not the pairing you would at all expect. Yet, the chemistry Crowe and Gosling share in “The Nice Guys” makes the film as whole that much better. In it, Gosling plays a sleazy, private detective who crosses paths with Crowe, a private enforcer. Through several twists of fate, the two are embroiled in a search for a missing girl who happens to be the daughter of a high-ranking official in the Dept. of Justice. 

The film’s most impressive achievement is its cross-generational approach – the mid-70s setting of the film will appeal to older audience, while the over-the-top, fresh humor will draw younger audiences. Visually, the film does a fine job depicting the pathos of L.A. in the 70s, a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah that Gosling and Crowe’s characters are forced to navigate. With all that thrown into the mix, hilarity will surely ensue.

The film’s only major foible is that it has trouble transitioning between dramatic and comedic scenes, which can be confusing for an audience member, because one is never sure if a scene is a dramatic attempt at furthering the plot, or just the lead-up to another punchline. Still, if you’re looking for a laugh, this is a great film to add to your list of summer blockbusters.