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From Shane Black (Hawkins in Predator) comes The Nice Guys, a love letter to '70s buddy action-comedy films starring Russell Crowe (Hando in Romper Stomper, SID 6.7 in Virtuosity) and Ryan Gosling (The Driver in Drive, Julian in Only God Forgives). The film opened this weekend in the U.S. and has garnered a lot of praise from critics, quickly rivaling Black's 2005 cult film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Official Site

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90% - "The Nice Guys hearkens back to the buddy comedies of a bygone era while adding something extra courtesy of a knowing script and the irresistible chemistry of its leads."

Metacritic Score: 70 out of 100

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The Nice Guys

Silver Pictures/Bloom/Lipsync Productions/Warner Bros. Pictures, 2016

Directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3)

Written by Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi

Running Time: 116 minutes

Rated R for graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, drug use, and profanity.

Cast

Russell Crowe (Maximus in Gladiator, Jor-El in Man of Steel) as Jackson Healy

Ryan Gosling (The Driver in Drive, Noah in The Notebook) as Holland March

Angourie Rice as Holly March

Matt Bomer (Ken in Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL) as John Boy

Margaret Qualley (Andie McDowell's daughter) as Amelia Kutner

Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale in Batman, Domino in Never Say Never Again) as Judith Kutner

Yaya DaCosta (Whitney, Siren in Tron: Legacy) as Tally

Beau Knapp as Blue Face

Keith David (Childs in The Thing, Frank in They Live) as Older Guy

Murielle Telio (Young Starlet in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Misty Mountains

Synopsis

The year is 1977. Jackson Healy is an enforcer who makes sure teenage girls in Los Angeles are safe from adult junkies, while Holland March is an unsuccessful detective who is not in good terms with his 13-year-old daughter Holly. They cross paths when their cases revolve around a missing girl named Amelia and a string of mysterious deaths of people involved in a porno film. Both men are hired by Amelia's mother, District Attorney Judith Kutner, to find her and keep her safe from the Las Vegas Mob, who are looking to take over the L.A. porno scene.

Lowdown

Shane Black has had a modest film career over the past three decades. As an actor, he is mostly remembered in Predator as Hawkins, who was the first in Schwarzenegger's team to get skinned by the Predator. He also wrote Lethal Weapon 1-2, The Last Boy Scout, and Last Action Hero, showing his affinity for buddy action films. In 2005, he directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which flopped in theaters but received critical acclaim. At the advice of Robert Downey, Jr., Black replaced Jon Favreau as the director of 2013's Iron Man 3, which made over a billion dollars worldwide, but seriously polarized both critics and fans due to a certain plot twist. It was evident that while Black was a good director, superhero films just were not his specialty.

With The Nice Guys, Black returns to his buddy action-comedy roots. The film captures the look and feel of the 1970s, from the oil crisis and L.A. smog issues to the outlandish L.A. party scene complete with disco music and bell bottoms. As for the main cast, you couldn't get any better than Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. With a long history of getting into fights with anyone, Crowe is flawless as the ill-tempered Jackson Healy. Gosling must have had a drinking problem in his past, as he knocks it out of the park as the alcoholic Holland March. But the real show-stealer is young Margaret Qualley, who easily outsmarts the duo in terms of detective work. Hell, you couldn't even tell that she's Australian with the way she delivers her lines. The plot itself is very smart and engaging, as it has the right combination of action, comedy, and film noir, as well as outstanding dialogue throughout the film.

In short, The Nice Guys is simply an excellent buddy action-comedy film that is worth an addition to anyone's Blu-ray collection. It's also Shane Black's way of apologizing for Iron Man 3 (at least for those who hated it).

Rating: A

Links

The Nice Guys Official Site

References

The Internet Movie Database

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