I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
A question for the cinephiles out there. At what point does a comedic homage to a genre become a spoof? Airplane is unanimously considered a spoof of the aeroplane related disaster films of the 1970s. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is generally seen as a comedic homage to the film noir. So what about this film?
The Nice Guys is a comedy directed and co-written by Shane Black of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fame. It stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as two private investigators in 1977 Los Angeles. They are forced to work together to investigate a mystery involving car companies, porn stars, murder and seventies style.
Right off the bat, this movie is already winning. Shane Black is an excellent writer of dialogue and caster of double-acts. Crowe and Gosling should be in their own T.V show, their chemistry is so palpably good and the writing easily supports them.
Another strong presence in this film is Gosling’s character’s daughter, Holly (played by Angourie Rice). She is a badass who not only is the smartest of the three (a common trope in this kind of film) but also contributes greatly to the comedy.
I’d actually go so far as to say that this film is altogether better than Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Both films are very similar, both being set in L.A, containing very obvious noir traits and a good double act. I do like KKBB and it’s definitely the more original film in terms of its execution, which I give it props for. However, it does feel a little full of itself at times and only provides a strong character arc for Robert Downey Jr’s character. This film, though, has both parts of our central duo transform over the film and overall I found it funnier.
The whole plot revolves around some pointed satire of American business culture in the late 70s. It actually goes further than most films which do so. Those films just say “those in power and with lots of money are bad”. This film also mocks them for the fact that their own greed leads and will end up leading to their own downfall. Gosling already showed us this in The Big Short. This is not really anything to do with the overall quality of the film, just a nice part I’m glad they gave thought to.
I can’t actually think of much not to recommend in this film. It’s funny, cool and huge fun.
Recommended Scenario: If you like a good laugh and 70s stuff.