The Nice Guys review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
A comedy of wits, subversion and general stupidity, The Nice Guys is a thorough examination of clumsy characters acting in relation to bigger events than what they can ever comprehend. Here violence doesn’t come up out of nowhere, but rather knows its place among the story and it actually holds it together, which is to say so well-crafted that maybe becomes Shane Black’s finest feature till date.
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe appear together as a pulp-noir detective duo that feels long time overdue. Their chemistry drives this feature toward the inevitable, albeit subversive conclusion that leaves no one indifferent, except - for the irony to be even bigger – themselves. The two exchange banter like they’ve known each other for the whole of their lives, both on-screen and off of it. A simple glance is all that takes for the two to understand each other, without even uttering a single word. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s proceed further.
The other cast members perfectly add to the experience. Not only does Kim Basinger draw parallels between ‘L.A. Confidential’ and this one – she’s actually upgrading her character arc from the previous similar installment. Then there’s Matt Bomer, whose terrifyingly cold charisma will freeze the blood in your veins as soon as he steps on screen for the first time. Keith David really shines in his supportive role, while Angourie Rice tries and succeeds to impose onto the cop duo – only to outshine them when all three are being present together in a scene.
Now, actors can make or break a movie, but breaking a well-made script that’s polished to perfection is a tough job. Fortunately, all acting performances build upon the clever narrative Shane Black has presented, with direction and screenplay seamlessly molding into each other to produce the epic that is The Nice Guys. All subplots are there for a reason and by the end of it all – tie into the main plot on a cathartic note that both satisfies and enlightens, without it all seeming forced in the slightest.
The location is also worth mentioning for, since the L.A. setting presents a whole another level of fascination, with references that will mostly go over the head of everyone, and this is not a bad thing at all. The sole fact for them being there gives a unique perspective on how director Shane envisioned his piece to unravel at the big screen.
In totality, The Nice Guys succeeds on so many levels that it would be a real shame to not see it twice.