Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Keith David, Margaret Qually, Matt Bomer, KIm Basinger (Rated MA – 116 min).
Expect the unexpected, a life size bumblebee in the back seat of a convertible in conversation with the two leads is only the beginning of odd situations on hand. However don’t despair, The Nice Guys is a tenacious gem.
Mismatched private eyes on opposite ends of the spectrum get together on a curious case of a missing girl amongst 1970s smog filled Los Angeles. Russell Crowe has always been versatile but rarely does comedy, his last venture into humour the wine tasting grape growing romp A Good Year (2006) was widely lambasted – to me, it was fresh and funny.
His teaming with Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Drive) is perfect casting right down to the unnatural ticks and interesting observations that are said to his new so called friend.
Crowe is perfect as Jackson Healy, a standover man with a heart, kind of. Licensed investigator Holland March is also a spot on role for Gosling, single father and borderline alcoholic, how he finishes any job is a feat in itself.
Hired to get facts on the apparent suicide of famous adult entertainer Misty Mountains (Margaret Qually), he reluctantly teams up with Healy on the case which the more it unravels, the more unusual it gets.
Oscar winner for LA Confidential (1997) Kim Basinger returns alongside Crowe, her then young new to Hollywood co-star on that exact film. Here she plays a high ranking police official and mother of the missing actress.
Australian Angourie Rice, whom I earmarked as one to watch after her performance in These Final Hours (2013), is a revelation as Holly March, the 13 year old daughter of bumbling dad Holland.
She drives for him (usually because he’s too drunk or beat up to do so himself) and she more often than not spots the clues that may have passed her dad’s wayside.
Action a plenty, extremely funny but dark, really dark and that’s thanks to masterful director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Last Boy Scout).His unconventional way of making movies is a masterstroke. Must See!
Shane A. Bassett
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