"The Nice Guys" Is Not a Nice Movie

Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"The Nice Guys" (Warner Brothers)

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling star in "The Nice Guys" a new film written and directed by Shane ("Lethal Weapon") Black. The film features some fairly good acting, a few laugh out loud script moments, and an acceptable look and feel for the seventies. Put these all together and they should spell hit movie, but they don't. The other part of the acting is pretty bad, there are long boring moments between the laugh lines, and the look of the seventies is pretty cheesy. Put these all together and "The Nice Guys" is not a very nice movie.

The plot involves two private detectives of a sort. Jackson Healy (Crowe) is a fighter. He gets his information by beating it out of people. Holland March (Gosling) is more of a con artist. He will lie at the drop of a hat. Somehow these two team up to find a missing woman named Amelia (Margaret Qualley).

Amelia took part in a porno film and suddenly everyone connected with that film is turning up dead. It is up to Healy and March to find Amelia before she is killed. The plot is a little more complex than this but the facts presented here are the clearest. Somehow a hit man played by Matt Bomer, and a Justice Department official played by Kim Basinger are also involved.

The movie relies on the buddy bromance of the two main characters and it is just not there. Crowe always looks at Gosling's character as if he is from Mars, while Gosling can't decide if he wants his character to be naïve or just plain stupid. In one scene when he is afraid he pulls a reaction that was old when Lou Costello invented it. You know the words won't come out of his mouth but squeaky sounds will.

Another flaw is the introduction of March's thirteen year old daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) into the mix. The fact she is involved in too many action sequences means March is up for worst parent of the year. Plus she gets into the middle of the I'll cuss you out, no I'll cuss you out sequences. No entertainment there.

As stated there are a few laugh out loud moments but they can't erase the overall sloppy script. Black's edginess as a writer and as a director seem to have been stuck back in the seventies. Plus this movie looks like it was filmed on the set of "Austin Powers". So where is Mike Meyers when you need him.

The movie is rated R for profanity, violence and nudity.

I'm not saying Crowe and Gosling didn't try but their efforts were wasted. I expected more and I got much less. "The Nice Guys" doesn't play nicely for the people who attend.

I scored "The Nice Guys" a not so nice 4 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com