The Nice Guys (2016)

Review by CJ

The Nice Guys

Shane Black

Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley

Other notable appearances:
Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger, Keith David, Jack Kilmer, Lois Smith

Running time:
116 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
The Man from UNCLE, Tango and Cash


After a rocky start, private detective Holland March (Gosling) and muscle for hire Jackson Healy (Crowe) join forces to investigate the death of porn star Misty Mountains when her aunt believes to have seen her alive. Once they start pulling at threads in the investigation, the insidious deeds unravel to reveal a much deeper plot than anyone could have expected.

The Nice Guys is a well-assembled action comedy film. The plot is quite big, but rather than feeling convoluted, it follows a breadcrumb approach with each discovery leading to the next clue. This works far more effectively when producing an action comedy than the ‘mash evidence in from every angle and hope everyone keeps up’ approach that can be successful in mystery and crime films when done well.

Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe and Angourie Rice all have great chemistry as March, Healy and March’s daughter Holly respectively. Gosling’s performance as the single father struggling with alcoholism is the film’s stand-out role. It is also one of the best (and funniest) portrayals I have seen Gosling give. Granted I haven’t seen many of his films, but my respect grows with almost every performance I see.

Also great to watch is Matt Bomer as the hired killer John Boy. I’ve only ever seen Bomer in the Magic Mike films so to say that this was a big change is a massive understatement. Bomer didn’t have a lot of screen time but the performance he gives is memorable enough to stand out in the two hour film. I can’t wait to see Bomer’s performance in the upcoming The Magnificent Seven remake to witness even more range.

While The Nice Guys has hilarious comedic moments throughout the film, it also manages to cause shock and sadness. The dialogue is witty, the characters are well-formed without getting too bogged down in backstory, and the story is engaging.

I found the end was interesting because in some ways it was the perfect Hollywood ending but with certain unexpected twists in the tale.

If you’re looking for a groovy action flick with plenty of laughs and a few great explosions then check out The Nice Guys.

4 Stars

“Dad, there are whores here and stuff.”
“Don’t say ‘and stuff’. Just say ‘Dad, there are whores here.’”

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