Film Review: The Nice Guys

| May 28, 2016

Image: Warner Bros

Words by Ryan Grice 

Director: Shane Black
Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi
Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer and Kim Basinger
En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse), the world’s first mutant, comes out of a 3000+ year hibernation to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting earth and it’s up to the un-unified X-Men, young and old, to stop him and his four horsemen.

KISS KISS BANG BANG was a hilarious and well-played outing by Shane Black that served as something of a comeback vehicle for the director and both lead actors, Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer (though it ultimately failed for the latter), so why has it taken him so long to do something as good, again?

“Black’ had taken solid source material and adapted it well; this time is similar, but with the added help of rising star Anthony Bagarozzi whose first ever screenplay, co-written with a friend in his mother’s attic, recently sold for US$1m. Many elements explored by these two in The Nice Guys are taken from the real-life events lived by marine corps veteran turned private investigator Jay Joseph, some of which were actually worked into KKBB, despite it being based on an unrelated novel.

The structure feels unconventional–maybe not to the standards of Paul Thomas Anderson–but this is a delight considering how disgustingly similar Lethal Weapon 2 and Black’s previous film Iron Man 3 are(  thanks couch tomato). Though those familiar with his work may find it hard to shake those Shane Blackisms that are ever-present and never welcome, it’s hard to fit this much fun and cheek into a single movie and still have some semblance of plot, so hats off to all involved.

This former could however be due to a bad taste in one’s mouth still lingering from the action films he wrote in the 90’s. You could quite easily see this becoming his new buddy-cop (P.I.) franchise with endless sequels, which may not seem likely given the calibre of the leads, but if you think about the sparseness and quality of each actor’s respective roles in the recent past, it may be a safe bet (despite being wildly insulting).

Russell Crowe and  Ryan Gosling are brilliant together in ways that could never have been expected; the two play off each other brilliantly and make you realise that this is how Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. should have been. The situational comedy being drawn from the absurdity of reality makes it all the more amusing. There are some things that occur in life that are far too insane to have ever made up.

Sequels or not, this is a fantastic film filled with so many jokes you may have to watch it thrice (and study up on 70’s America) just to catch everything, but that also manages to not alienate the viewer despite its setting, erratic nature, and relatively small cast outside of the leads. Keep your eyes on these chaps.

MM 8/10 OR The sober little brother of Inherent Vice.

Watch the official trailer:

Official poster:

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Category: FEATURED, FILM, Uncategorized

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