Review: The Nice Guys

I do not know how normal it is to see movies at 10:00 AM as often as I do, but regardless of whether or not it is, it is good to finally get out of bed early for a movie that was worth seeing. As opposed to a movie that is only watchable, below average, or dry-heavingly bad, The Nice Guys is a movie that is not only extremely entertaining and well done, but it actually made me genuinely laugh multiple times.

 

The Nice Guys is a movie that is set in Los Angeles in the 1970’s. Not only are all character clothing and hair styles reminiscent of the era, but The Nice Guys frequently slips current events and pop culture into its movie, sometimes as a plot element, but many times simply as an element in the background. It was absolutely refreshing to see a movie pay so much attention to detail.

 

There’s nothing groundbreaking about Russell Crowe’s or Ryan Gosling’s performances, but I still thoroughly enjoyed them both and personally found that the contrast between their two character personalities worked well. It was rather humorous seeing how inept they were at their jobs and how their flaws affected their ability to do things.

 

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Gosling’s character has a thirteen-year-old daughter, and I was quite impressed with the child actor they chose to play. Not only was her performance exceptional for a child actor, but the movie had one or two scenes where she had to show legitimately strong emotions, and she was able to pull it off. The character herself was not only very interesting but also played off of Gosling’s and Crowe’s characters in an entertaining way.

 

The movie was great all throughout, but I never really felt myself being truly absorbed into the story until about the halfway point. While doing the research into this film, I realized that the only other film this director is known for (aside from Iron Man 3) is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. This made a lot of sense to me because Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is another movie that I truly didn’t feel completely into until the second half (according to my recollection though, unpopular opinion incoming, I thought that The Nice Guys is a much better movie, and I feel like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is overrated).

 

Much of the humor in this film is dark which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Aside from the dark comedy, this film has a gratuitous amount of swearing (mostly thanks to Gosling) and quite a bit of nudity and sexual themes. If these things bother you in movies, this is not the film for you.

 

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The only real complaints I have about the movie are some editing issues and some plot predictability. In regards to editing, there were a couple of cuts that were lazily made and took me out of the movie. The biggest one I can think of is when Gosling is sitting in a booth with Crowe and he’s pulling out a cigarette and putting it into his mouth. In the very next cut, he’s smoking the cigarette without it ever being lit. The movie also has some plot points and a few dialogue pieces that I found to be recycled from many types of movies and I was able to call them in my head well before they happened. Honestly though, I realize that these issues really do not matter very much to the common movie goer.

 

The Nice Guys is the first comedy this year that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s an intelligent, well-thought out movie with a satisfying amount of dark wit. I absolutely recommend seeing this movie provided you do not have any reservations about language and nudity. This is a movie that I would like to see again eventually to see if I like it more the second time, but for now I’m fairly comfortable with giving it its current score, and I’m giving this movie a 7 out of 10.

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