Set among the glitz and sleaze of 1970s Los Angeles, Shane Black's The Nice Guys is another delightfully entertaining buddy cop crime comedy centering around a pair of down-and-out detectives who stumble upon a massive, sprawling conspiracy. Featuring the same complex and convoluted plotting expected in an LA Noir story, The Nice Guys is a film that breathlessly captures the intricacies and tropes of these classic LA crime stories, breathing life into the genre thanks to Shane Black's energetic screenplay and great performances by both Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Nice Guys is a film which seamlessly navigates between violence and slapstick humor, with Ryan Gosling in particularly standing out as Holland March, an alcoholic, single-father borderline low-life detective, whose casual investigative approach couldn't be more opposite to the more brutish, thumper stylings of Russell Crowe's Jackson Healy character. Shane Black's films are always full of witty dialogue and charming characters, but what stood out so much about Gosling's turn is just how much physical comedy he brings to The Nice Guys, delivering lots of slapstick-style laughs as he proves himself as a physical actor. While the conspiracy plot of The Nice Guys is quite silly, a hard-to-believe story revolving around a porno and corporate greed, I'd argue the filmmakers acknowledge this, given the scripts penchant to playfully wink and nod at the screen as if to say, "hey now, coincidences and bizarre conveniences are a part of life". The Nice Guys is a film that wants to remain light-hearted even among some of its darker plotting and characterizations, such as Holland March's alcoholism and potential neglect of his daughter, or how Jackson Healy is a complete loner, with the film opting instead to acknowledge these characters struggles but not focus on them, keeping its fast-paced, high energy narrative flow in the process. Shane Black's The Nice Guys is a playful romp through 1970s Los Angeles, a film that personifies the time-period in Los Angeles while delivering a byzantine story of sex, murder, and slapstick comedy that is sure to put a smile on your face.
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