Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling may seem like an odd pairing at first glance, but that’s exactly the reason why their dynamic is so captivatingly brilliant in The Nice Guys. Director and writer Shane Black brings plenty of dark humor and action to the buddy cop genre, making the film one of the funniest comedies in recent memory. This is one you don’t want to miss.
Private Detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling) has taken a job investigating the death of adult film actress Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio) when he gets entangled with Jackson Healy, a hired enforcer who uses his fists to persuade people to not bother his clients anymore. Together they team up to find another missing girl, Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who has become part of a bigger criminal conspiracy. They quickly realize they’re in over their heads when everyone around them starts dying, but that still doesn’t stop them from finding Amelia and learning the truth.
The heart and soul behind The Nice Guys is Crowe and Gosling’s performances. The dialogue between the is absolutely hilarious and reminiscent Black’s directorial debut, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Their relationship isn’t just some good cop/bad cop dynamic, either. There is a hint of inexperience in everything they do, especially with March. He’s not the violent type and spends a good portion of the film running and screaming while Healy deals with the bad guys. The majority of their successes together can be attributed to dumb luck, which makes their exploits all the more hilarious. These are two guys who likely should have been dead long ago, but are just barely smart enough and fortunate enough to make it.
The Nice Guys is everything you would want out of a comedy. The story is outrageous at times, and you never truly know where it’s going to go until it pulls a fast one on you. Some of the deaths in the film are absolutely gruesome and caught me off guard with their over-the-top nature. It’s fun, witty, and above all, entertaining, while being unapologetic in everything it does. The antics of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling reach outrageous levels by the end of the film, but by that point you’re laughing too much to care. The buddy cop genre may have gotten a little stale over the years, but Shane Black has brought it back in spectacular fashion.