<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 31, 2016

The Nice Guys Movie Review: A Very Entertaining Action-Comedy That You Should Not Miss!

SET IN Los Angeles in 1977, “The Nice Guys” is a buddy action-comedy from Shane Black, who wrote the hit “Lethal Weapon” of Mel Gibson and also wrote and directed “Iron Man 3”. It stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as unlikely buddies who become sparring partners out on a mission.

Ryan Gosling is Holland March, a private eye who’s hired by Mrs. Glenn (Lois Smith) on a case involving a well known porn star named Misty Mountains (Muriello Tello). Misty had a much publicized suicide when her car crashes into the house of a young man. Her dying words are “How do you like my car, big boy? But Mrs. Glenn, Misty’s aunt, claims to have seen her niece still alive two days after her alleged death. Ryan doubts this but accepts the job as he’s desperate for work.

Russell Crowe is Jackson Healy, a violence-prone hired enforcer tasked by district attorney Judith Kutner (Kim Basinger) to look for her missing daughter, Amelia (Margaret Qualley). His encounter with a pair of hired thugs makes Russell conclude there is more going on with this case than meets the yes. He then gets Ryan, along with his daughter Holly (Angourie Rice), to help search for Amelia and investigate if there’s a larger conspiracy behind the whole thing.

Holly becomes a veritable third member of the team. A tough and feisty 13-year old who won’t tolerate nonsense from anyone, she even considers hiring Russell to beat up her friend Janet. Holly and her friends help forward the narrative with their own quips. The style of this detective comedy is a successful mixture or various elements that range from absurd to great effect, like mysterious women, nifty coincidences, precocious children, demolished houses and strange problems requiring to be solved. It pays tribute to other filmmakers and actors like Blake Edwards, Jean Paul Belmondo and others.

Gosling and Crowe look like they enjoy working with each other and prove to be effective as odd buddies, delivering their snappy dialogue, verbal punches and hilarious antics with great comic timing and even resorting to slapstick and pratfalls. They have great chemistry as a comedic duo and their not-so-happy back stories provide more delightful hilarity in the movie. They can be quite inept, but we still cheer and root for them.

Giving them excellent support is the scene-stealing teen star Angourie Rice who gives the film its much needed heart when she forms an unexpected closeness to Russell, to whom she serves as some kind of conscience, while also helping her own drunken dad to put some order in his personal life and in his career.
Ryan, Russell and Rice are the main stars but the ensemble cast of characters all deliver splendid performances including Kim Basinger, Margaret Qualley and Matt Bomer as a dangerous hit man known as John Boy. The movie also has great production design with much attention to detail that will make you relive the 70s culture, from the hairstyles to the costumes and the actual sets used.

Shane Black also helmed the 2005 movie, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, a black comedy-crime movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer that got very positive reviews. Both “Kiss Kiss” and “Nice Guys” draw on neo-Noir filmmaking traditions presented in an absurdly comical manner. But don’t miss “Nice Guys” as it is more accessible as a whodunit in its treatment and offers much more entertainment value in its twists and turns of plot. It harks back to the kind of action movies made before without any CGI special effects and is certainly a welcome treat and much fun for moviegoers who are tired of all those superhero flicks with characters who do the most impossible things.