The Nice Guys or Not the Bees!   5 comments

When a film starts with a topless porn star crashing her car into a house to the tune of the Temptations song Papa Was a Rolling Stone, it sets a tone you hope the characters and plot can keep up with. Fortunately, The Nice Guys keeps up the irreverent mood and fast and unexpected pace.


“Look up! Is that Dave Chappelle?”

Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling) are both hired, separately, to look for and protect a young woman. Healy is a hired goon who beats people up for a living and March is a mercenary private detective who drinks so much he has his thirteen-year-old daughter drive him around. They start out as adversaries, but end up teaming up to solve the complicated case.


“It says here, Colonel Mustard, in the drawing room, with a candlestick.”

Set in 1970s Los Angeles, The Nice Guys deals with the porn industry, car makers, the Department of Justice, and even President Nixon. It even has a big bee. Despite the kitchen sink approach to plot, the film moves along and holds your interest thanks to its three leads.


Two out of the three leads and a big bee.

I get a big kick out of this film. Healy and March are cool characters that don’t fit into the standard private detective mold. Healy knows he’s a thug-for-hire, but you can tell he has a cool backstory and Crowe gives him some charm and even a little depth. March and his daughter, Holly, played by the talented and appealing Angourie Rice, have a sweet relationship. In some ways, she’s more mature than her dad, but the film never goes full Paper Moon and Gosling has some nice moments. I wish we got to know them all better, but the film places its emphasis on its overly intricate plot. Don’t get me wrong. The Nice Guys is entertaining, but I would have preferred a little more character development.


“There’s no sequel?”

The dialogue and performances in The Nice Guys are what make it work. Keith David’s henchman has a natural world-weariness and Lois Smith is always a pleasure to see. Matt Bomer must have enjoyed making this film too. He has a fun part with a few terrific lines. Gosling makes a potentially goofy character seem human and real. Crowe is the one we really want to learn more about. He’s a tough guy who lives above a comedy club and has a word-a-day calendar. I’m curious about how he got there.


“Lugubrious.”

Ryan Gosling has some winner lines too. In describing how bad Lois Smith’s eyesight is, he says, “She has actual Coke bottles for glasses. You paint a mustache on a Volkswagen and she says, boy, that Omar Sharif sure runs fast.” Good stuff.


“It’s 9am somewhere.”

Shane Black directed The Nice Guys based on a script he wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi. The plot and characters have a Get Shorty meets The Long Goodbye vibe with a little Pulp Fiction philosophizing thrown in. That’s not a bad thing.


“Royale with cheese.”

The best thing aside from the performances of Gosling and Crowe is the teaming of Gosling and Crowe. Seriously, I could watch a lot more of this duo—and these two characters. The Nice Guys is a fun movie.


“Say what again!”

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5 responses to “The Nice Guys or Not the Bees!

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  1. Sounds like a fun movie. Great write up

    _____________________ Mary Gately

  2. Great review! Heres mine if you get a second : https://crazydiscostu.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/the-nice-guys-2016/

  3. Pingback: The Best Films I Saw in 2017 | Prowler Needs a Jump

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