The Nice Guys

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Written and directed by Shane Black who wrote the original Lethal Weapon, The Nice Guys is a very entertaining action comedy set in the 1970s. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are two private detectives who go on a wild goose chase after the mysterious death of an adult film actress in Los Angeles. The film is very aware of cinematic history in that it blends elements of a classic crime caper with screwball comedy filled with Three Stooges-esque physical comedy. The soundtrack is particularly effective: songs from Earth, Wind & Fire, Kiss, and America along with the classic Pina Colada Song effortlessly tells us the setting. Also mixed in is a score that sometimes feel like it comes from a 1940s film noir to remind us that the film is essentially a crime mystery. The pairing of the tough guy persona of Russell Crowe along with the sometimes naive buffoonery of Ryan Gosling is terrifically cast, similar to Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the quintessential buddy action comedy Lethal Weapon. Known for his good looks and charisma, Ryan Gosling paradoxically plays a character who quite literally stumbles and sheepishly squeals his way through unraveling the plot’s mysteries. The film takes on such an entertaining joy ride that the almost satirically preposterous conspiracy discovered at the end is irrelevant. I would highly recommend the movie based on its well-timed elements of action and comedy and perfect casting of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling whose on-screen chemistry will hopefully be replicated soon.

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