Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Nice Guys (2016)

Director: Shane Black

Writers: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi

Composers: David Buckley, John Ottman

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCosta, Keith David, Beau Knapp, Lois Smith, Murielle Telio, Gil Gerard, Daisy Tahan, Kim Basinger

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Nice pair

Plot: In 1970s Los Angeles, a mismatched pair of private eyes investigate a missing girl and the mysterious death of a porn star.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

If you're not familiar with writer/director Shane Black then you should be.  You've at least probably seen several of the pictures he's written like the LETHAL WEAPON franchise or IRON MAN 3 (to name a few).  This guy is great.  Really.  This is only his third feature as director and it's just as you'd  The crime story is just complicated enough to give our two detectives (of sorts) something to keep them busy with until the credits roll which is perfectly fine.  I love the 70s L.A. setting.  The references from that decade are all over the place but they rarely hit you over the head like they did in the US version of LIFE ON MARS (2008) which I just recently watched.  There's a lot of subtlety in this picture and I REALLY appreciate that.  For example, the film opens with a car crashing through a house; you see the car approaching from inside the house but you don't hear it until it breaks through.  There are lots of peripheral shots like that which don't draw attention to themselves like you'd see in mainstream Hollywood movies.  Innocent people are accidentally shot but Black doesn't linger on it.  He treats them as if the bullet struck a wall or a tree.  He just moves on with the story as you should. The action is good as is the occasional comedy which is often laugh-out-loud funny.  I loved the Abbott & Costello homage when March (Gosling) discovers a dead body and he can't form words but only frightened sounds out of his mouth just like Lou Costello when he saw a ghost or something horrible.  I LOVED IT!  I liked the picture quite a bit despite my expectations being higher than normal.  I wouldn't mind if this were to turn into a franchise.  Black is good writing great buddy cop pictures and I hope he enjoyed making this film enough to want to see it continue. 

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