(Movie Review) Nice Guys Finish Somewhere in-between
Some actors draw me to a movie before I even read a review. For example, I would likely watch Russell Crowe do most anything. Ryan Gosling has also turned in a number of strong performances. And so I went to see The Nice Guys, the new action/comedy/noir/crime-drama set in 1970s LA.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I hope they both check that off their list before either goes into a “real” modern comedy where according to the last comedy plot mandate, they would, inevitably have to make terrible faces because some inanimate object has just been forced up their butt.[/pullquote]
The retro fashions, cars, and music – and the lack of any Digital Era technology – make it a fun visit to what was in retrospect, a bizarre time. So now that I’ve used the word “bizarre,” I’ll address the fact that you have two “serious” actors trying to establish a comedic duo. It was reminiscent of Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hrs, but at least in that, one of them was already a comedian. I’m not sure who is supposed to be the straight man in Nice Guys, though Crowe might be “Nolte.” It really doesn’t matter, because the film just managed to work despite its mongrel pedigree. It was neither comedy nor action, noir film nor drama, yet it clearly inherited traits from all. The film is certainly violent and contains adult material, yet strives to be humorous and lighter as if the ‘seventies could never be taken too seriously anyway.
My favorite performance was by Angourie Rice, who played Ryan Gosling’s chararacter’s 13-year-old daughter. She stole almost every scene she was in. The film features Kim Basinger, too, who brought with her a noir, femme fatale quality (from LA Confidental?).
Crowe and Gosling did manage the comedy (the drama was the easy part), though I hope they both check that off their list before either goes into a “real” modern comedy where according to the latest comedy plot mandate, they would, inevitably have to make terrible faces because some inanimate object has just been forced up their butt.
These nice guys didn’t finish last, but they didn’t win the medal either.