Directed by Shane Black
The name Shane Black may not ring a bell for the common mortals, but he is the writer of the four installments of “Lethal Weapon” and the director of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and “Iron Man 3”.
With this said, it’s quite clear that Mr. Black has a propensity for mixing action, crime, and comedy, and “The Nice Guys”, with whom he co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi, confirms exactly that.
The film, set in a fervent L.A. in 1977, puts side-by-side Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, respectively playing Jackson Healy, a violent, solitary ‘fixer’, and Holland March, a private-eye with an uncontrollable appetence for booze. After an initial commotion between the two, they team up to find Amelia (Margaret Qualley), an activist, emerging porn artist, and fugitive, whose mother, Judith (Kim Basinger), a high-ranked executive in the US Department of Justice, tries desperately to locate her. It happens that Amelia disclosed important information about the pollution infractions committed by the Big Three Detroit automakers. All the revelations were recorded in an experimental porn film, which was apparently destroyed by a fire. However, another copy of the film is being hidden, and as a consequence, Amelia is being fiercely hunted.
The incendiary duo, alluding to Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, get an unlooked-for but valuable help from a 13-year-old girl to accomplish their tough task. The girl, Holly (Angourie Rice), happens to be Marsh’s clever daughter who, like her father, has an eye for detail and a special ability to clear up undesirable situations with casualness.
“The Nice Guys” evolves at a brisk pace, showcasing a few hilarious scenes and achieving an efficient balance between the rousing violence and the farcical gags.
Both the central characters, plus the kid, are funny in their own way, but Gosling is particularly amusing while fueled (or slumbered) by neat scotches.
Moreover, and regardless an adversity here and there, the film also succeeds by throwing in some surprises and for adopting an unembarrassing, easygoing posture.
Just let yourself go with the flow!