The Nice Guys: A review

The Nice Guys

Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $50 million

After surviving the events of L.A. Confidential in 1953, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger are both back at it in The Nice Guys about 20-something years later. The quiet life probably didn’t suit them, so they came back to LA to stir up crap—and stuff.

Funnily enough, the movies were made about 20 years apart. (1997 and 2016)

Funnily enough, the movies were made about 20 years apart. (1997 and 2016)

No, the films aren’t actually connected. This isn’t the Marvel Cinematic Universe here. Although, The Nice Guys was directed by Shane Black, director and co-writer of Iron Man 3. And also a Bruin.

At least they had a shot of the Felix car dealership across from USC.

A real LA gem

A real LA gem.

You could actually see the Gateway building…which didn’t even exist in 2007, let alone 1977. But since you didn’t come here for a USC history lesson…

Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe put their sorry characters together to try and solve a mystery with as much grace and subtlely as Jar Jar Binks and Forrest Gump. Overall, the film was interesting and worth a watch, but didn’t do any one particularly impressively. That’s not an insult by any means, but an honest evaluation.

The screenplay was a solid one, with lots of quips and funny moments brought to you by Gosling. I don’t remember any of the jokes really falling flat. However, over-reliance on coincidences to solve their problems seemed to be almost cheating.

Gosling even brings up his apparent plot armor as a joke at one point. Maybe that’s the point. It’s supposed to be a comedy, after all. It was a little more grounded in reality than, say, The Other Guysbut very far from the aforementioned L.A. Confidential on the spectrum of serious or not. They got some kicks out of the recurring side jokes.

Sadly, while the daugther was funny and intriguing as a character, she was the physical embodiment of the script’s biggest problem. She became whatever they needed her to be at any given moment to drive the plot along.

Props (haha!) to costume designers and set builders. I didn’t live through the 70s, but the look and feel were mostly convincing—except for things like Gateway showing up, but non-USC people probably wouldn’t know the difference.

Again, the film suffered from some flaws, but wasn’t bad. If you like comedy and crime films, you will probably enjoy it. Give them credit for trying to make a movie that isn’t based on something else—unlike most of the trailers prior to the movie. Tarzan, Bourne, Warcraft, Doctor Strange, even the Free State of Jones…

CommBro Breaker

not that there’s anything wrong with that. My personal philosophy is that films that strive for an original idea should be commended. The problem comes in when films that are based on something are derided. As long as they make good films, it shouldn’t matter. CommBro out.

P.S. don’t drop mics because they’re expensive and fragile.

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