FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: On Friday, I saw “The Nice Guys,” which stars Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator), Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Drive), Angourie Rice (Walking with Dinosaurs, Transmission), Matt Bomer (White Collar [TV series], In Time), Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers [TV series], Palo Alto), Beau Knapp (Southpaw, The Gift ), Keith David (Platoon, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Yaya DaCosta (The Kids Are All Right, TRON: Legacy), and Kim Basinger (Batman , L.A. Confidential). It is directed by Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), who also wrote it with Anthony Bagarozzi (Jekyll, Doc Savage). A private detector (Gosling) and hands-off private eye (Crowe) come together to investigate the case of a missing porn star, whose past seems to promote that there is something more dangerous behind her disappearance.
So, as you can see, I saw “The Nice Guys” last night…yeah…it quite shocked me. I recall seeing trailers for this film when it was being released and not once did I pick up that it would be a cursing, full nudity, porn-star investigation; not once. There may have been red band previews that portrayed this, but I didn’t look those up, and I regret not doing so. It’s not like this movie was terrible. It has a solid mystery plot, good acting, and fantastic cinematography of the 70s. I enjoyed the comedy, laughing quite a bit, but most of this experience is uncomfortable as it surrounds an issue that I don’t particularly like to watch on television: the porn industry. Granted, that’s not what this whole release is about. It’s merely an underlying theme and a central conflict of our main characters’ investigation. There are many scenes in which Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe go to bars and interrogate naked women, as the women themselves try to seduce the men. Some moviegoers may find this appealing, as it depicts a realistic scenario, but I tend to steer clear of features like this anyway, considering how I can’t look at a screen with an overload of naked women, especially the full-frontal in the beginning. With that full disclosure of “why this probably won’t get the greatest score” out of the way, let me discuss the other aspects of this film. As I mentioned before, this movie has a solid script. It’s funny, has some charm (outside of the investigation), and is interesting to see unfold. Gosling and Crowe’s detective work is fun to see and their chemistry is fantastic. Besides them, the supporting characters are okay, essentially being used to push the story along, besides Gosling’s daughter. There are a lot of witty lines, such as Gosling getting angry at a cop for not allowing them in, saying he’s “just taking orders,” only for Gosling to respond “you know, Hitler was ‘just taking orders.'” There’s a level of enjoyment to get out of this, but the nudity and over-swearing hinders it for me, as well as a few other cons. Those would include the one-dimensional villains, who are kind of just thrown in at the end (I’d like some build-up from their perspective), as well as a shaky first act that makes it hard to grasp why Crowe would hire Gosling in the first place. Don’t worry, I soon figured out why, but I still have to mark it down as an issue. As I watched this, I found it hard to place a score. Although I said that the nudity and swearing were overkill, there was still something that drew me into its narrative. It may have been the setting, seeing as how I love time pieces, and the 70s is almost always entertaining. People who have seen this would agree with me and may even like this movie a heck of a lot more, considering how much praise this film has received. It just wasn’t as inventive or great as it was chocked up to be in my eyes. It may have had good laughs and great chemistry amongst its main stars, but the excess of nudity and swearing doesn’t give much quality to look at. FINAL SCORE: 70%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: