The Nice Guys – 4.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

the nice guysThe Nice Guys – 4.5/5 – There is something to be said about the art of creativity.  When it comes to anything that involves writing; being creative with words, situations and scenarios can bring about an enticing story.  This is the same when it comes to films.  When a film breathes life with creativity; the characters, story and overall direction becomes all that more thrilling.  Shane Black (writer/director) is a man who lives through the art of writing.  His scripts make things unique, raw and amazing.  This new film is no exception.  The Nice Guys is (on the surface) your typical buddy cop story.  What you come to realize is that it’s much rawer, riveting and original then the common aspect it is built upon.  What you come to find is that this film is a fun, witty but darkly tale that plays smartly with the script.  This Nice Guys is one of the most original and creative films I have seen this year.  It has become (if not become) one of my favorites so far this year.

Premise: A mismatch of two P.I.s; they must team together to find the mystery behind a missing person and a dead porno star.

In the lead roles you have:

Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy

Ryan Gosling as Holland March

These two big name actors do an amazing job as two ‘for hire’ investigators.  Each of them have different ways they go about doing their business of solving crimes; which is set during the 1970s.   Russell Crowe plays Jackson Healy; a hired gun who goes around and beats up/intimidates others for money.  Ryan Gosling plays Holland March; a private investigator for missing peoples’ cases.  Both of them do a very great job on screen.  The reason they are so amazing is because their characters are completely opposite each other.  Not only do they go about solving crime differently, but their personalities clash.  This clashing of opposites draws upon the likes that are familiar for the audience.  What I mean is that when these two are on screen, they give a sense of raw humanistic qualities.  The banter, interactions and overall confliction that happens is slick, witty and most of all, feels real.  That realistic conversational element helps add to their personalities.  The intuitiveness in their relationship brings about a dynamic that goes beyond the common ‘two object’ references of a ‘buddy cop’ themed film.  They go beyond by making the characters likeable and relatable.  You feel the strength when they talk amongst themselves and are working together to solve the crime.  The hardnose, brash and brutish like Jackson Healy provides a great compliment to the free spirited, smartass cracking personality of Holland March.  This works well because of whom is portraying the characters and the fluidity of their dialogue.  It is smart, funny, dramatic and unpredictable.  You feel the layers of humanism in what they do, how they are and how they go about solving the crime.  These two characters make the film.  With the rest of the cast, there are some big names and new comers.  You can see the full list of the cast at the IMDB page.  Overall, they do a swell job in providing wealth and flavor to the ongoing investigation.  No matter whom it is, they are individualistic in stature and stand out more than just being cogs for the plot.

The direction goes along the typical concept of what forms a buddy cop film.  On the surface, it places the common premise of ‘two opposite characters coming together’ that ‘must solve some mystery’ before a ‘bad outcome happens’.   Add in some ‘artsy’ dialogue or ‘comical hijinx’ and that defines your common buddy cop story.  If this film was left to a basic outline, it would have been drawn out and predictable.  What happens here is that you have a writer/director in Shane Black who knows how to place the quirky and wackiness of creative bliss into a script that bleeds the art of originality.  What he does is layer the concept of the ‘buddy cop’ elements within a period piece.  He does that by creating characters that are distinct and odd.  With all of this stirring in the pot, he brings us a tale of a missing persons case that follows a dramatically twisting tale that involves the 1970’s oil crisis, Los Angeles/Hollywood lifestyle and the outrageous nature of the porno industry.  Here, you get a film that is placed upon a linear progression that breathes awkward, funny and satirical tones through the art of dialogue and subtle exposition.  It is the bantering in this ongoing investigation brought out by Healy and March that create the sense of awe and wonder.  These characters, combined with the smart/slick script, draws out the unexpected results.  Everything you think will happen, doesn’t.  The unpredictable twist and turns that happen after each piece of the mystery comes out breathes an adrenaline rush that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  This helps breathe emotions because of the amazing transition that happens between scenes and the fluidity of multiple themes and tones.  From the comedic stylings of the dialogue, the sudden dark dramatic elements and ‘odd’ conversations between Healy and March, you feel the craziness that is bubbling.  This all starts to boil over because of the brutish nature that is involved with Hollywood, Justice Department and the gangster element playing in the background.  It leads to a manic like situation that’s ironically pristine and focused because of the direction.  The randomness is awesome, welcoming but quirky.  As you watch the evidence play out through the bulk of the film, there is a sense to bring all the intricate threads together. This is when you have the play fast with the story by imploring technical aspect of a ‘buddy copy’ film.  You see that situations ‘must occur’ to move the story along, which causes slight fragments to the ongoing relationship developing between the two main characters.  This happens at a very specific mark in the film, but once it does it goes right back to its subtle and manic nature.  Once you reach the climax, it is filled with a lot of craziness that involves shootouts, one-liners and the ‘finality’ like conclusion that brings all the missing ends together.  Once the epilogue runs, it is fitting to see these two guys come together within their own friendship, leading into something that could be fun for years to come.

The visuals are amazing in its simplistic complexion.  With it being placed against the 1970s, all the stylistic coloring of the outfits to the environment helps create an eye gripping sensation.  It provides a place of realistic overtures, making you believing you are part of the two trying to solve the mystery.  It is luscious in its basic mantra; creating a sense of a ‘living’ world in its ironic aesthetics.  The score is amazingly used in this film.  Placing soundtracks from that era; the mixing of the sounds and musical quips helps bring out certain scenes and situations.  This adds to the overall wackiness while also providing value to overall tone.

The Nice Guys is a buddy cop film that breathes amazing originality through its setting and characters.  From the amazing script by Shane Black, you get a film that is vigorous, raw but smartly directed.  If you are a fan of buddy cops film and original concepts; this is one for you.  You will not be disappointed going to the movies with this one.


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