Review: THE NICE GUYS (2016) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Review: THE NICE GUYS (2016)

Mini Review: THE NICE GUYS (2016)

Set in the late 1970s Los Angeles, the movie deals with the unlikely partnership of incompetent private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and tough-guy enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), who end up working together to investigate the disappearance of a young girl named Amelia (Margaret Qualley) and the apparent death of a porn star. But as their investigations delve deeper, the case turns out to be more complicated than it originally appears.

REVIEW: After a brief stint handling his big budget studio debut in IRON MAN 3 (2013), it's finally nice to see Shane Black returning to his familiar genre root that he always known for in the first place: buddy movie. From writing a trio of high-profile screenplays including LETHAL WEAPON (1987), THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991) and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (1996) to making his impressive directorial debut in KISS KISS BANG BANG (2005) that also helped revitalise Robert Downey Jr.'s then-dwindling acting career, Black often has a knack for exploring his favourite buddy-movie genre.

Much like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in LETHAL WEAPON as well as Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans in THE LAST BOY SCOUT, Black successfully bring out the best in Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. Although both actors have their fair shares playing comedy roles before in the past, I must say this is the first time they truly embrace their comedic chops to the fullest. Here, Gosling's buffoon persona matches perfectly with Crowe's hilariously blunt and deadpan acting style.

However, Gosling and Crowe aren't the only ones who steal most of the show. Angourie Rice, an Australian-born relative newcomer to the Hollywood spotlight, proves her worth as a bona fide star-in-the-making with her scene-stealing performance as Holland's resourceful teenage daughter, Holly. The rest of the supporting actors including Matt Bomer, Keith David and Beau Knapp are all spot-on playing Black's quintessential bad-guy characters.

As for Black himself, he sure knows how to impress with the right comic timing, memorable quips and a generous dose of slapstick humour to mostly rib-tickling result. Not to mention Black's harsh but entertaining mix of nihilistic violence that doesn't shy away from its graphic depiction.

While THE NICE GUYS manages to satisfy with a bucketload of laugh and an edgy piece of entertainment aimed for the grown-ups, the movie suffers from an unnecessarily bloated plot that tries too hard to cook up a twisty murder mystery. In fact, Black's otherwise labyrinth narrative approach could have been more interesting if the movie benefits with a few streamlined and tighter editing.

Despite the shortcoming, THE NICE GUYS remains worthy enough as a hilarious antidote against a heap of big budget effect-laden Hollywood blockbusters currently showing in the cinemas.

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are terrific as a hilarious duo in this convoluted but entertaining action comedy.

* This review is written courtesy from TGV press screening *

No comments: