‘No kid, we don’t want to see your dick…’
The rise of reality TV told us that the general public are complete idiots. It also told us however, that people like stuff they can relate to. It has taken the TV and film industry a while to catch up but there have been a slew of stories out recently with morally ambiguous protagonists. Film writers are starting to realize that in real life there aren’t good guys and bad guys, just people.
With that in mind, legendary director/writer Shane Black brings us The Nice Guys. The tale of two mismatched private detectives stumbling their way through a complicated murder case. Shane Black boasts Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Lethal Weapon amongst his previous writing credits and The Nice Guys is cut from the same comedic cloth.
It is safe to say that Lethal Weapon is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the crime genre, as well as the pinnacle of Mel Gibson’s luxurious haircut. The Nice Guys never quite scales those heights but it is a hilarious romp around 1970’s Los Angeles and Ryan Gosling once again shows why he is possibly the best actor in the world at this moment in time. Gosling can do comedy, heartbreak, romance, action or anything else asked of him. He probably cooks a mean steak too. He stylishly displays his comedic chops in The Nice Guys and the more seasoned Russell Crowe can only try and keep up. Between them they share a great chemistry and relative newcomer Angourie Rice, soon to be appearing in the new Spiderman movie, also delivers an impressive performance as Gosling’s daughter.
This is not a genre that I love traditionally but Shane Black transcends modern day noir to produce something that can universally enjoyed by pretty much anyone. As with War Dogs, another film I recently loved, The Nice Guys shows us that cinema needn’t be complicated. As long as it is entertaining. Oh and it helps if Ryan Gosling is involved.