Last night my Girlfriend and I went out on a date to the movies. We strolled up to the theater with two movies in mind: Green Room (which I will have a review up on shortly) and The Nice Guys. As you can tell from the title of this post, we settled on the latter.
Now, I loved Green Room but I am so happy that we decided to watch The Nice Guys. I really believe that this is one of those movies that you just have to watch. It’s reminiscent of those buddy cop movies that saturated the 80s and 90s. This is one of the best buddy cop movies I’ve ever seen and it comes from the master of the sub genre, Shane Black, who’s repertoire includes writing Lethal Weapon (arguably one of the best buddy cop movies ever) and writing and directing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (one of the most underrated movies of the 2000s).
The best example of the modern buddy cop, and evidently the state of Comedy movies, is 21 Jump Street. I enjoyed 21 (and 22) Jump Street, but it is a prime example of comedy for modern audiences, and it can be summarized in one word: Meta. Modern comedy films are hyper aware and self-referential which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it removes all originality.
The Nice Guys is not this. It’s funny, original, and clever. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are excellent. Russell Crowe plays the perfect straight man, he’s even keeled, cool, and calm throughout with that monotone voice that sells all of his lines. Ryan Gosling is absolutely hilarious. He gives every line with stellar sincerity. He does physical comedy like it’s nobody’s business, I got a real Chevy Chase vibe (Quick aside: I think Chevy Chase is a real gem. Easily one of the best comedians to come out of the golden age of comedy. His physical comedy is unrivaled by anyone, and I mean anyone, I’ve ever seen) throughout his performance. They’re such a fantastic duo, bouncing off of each other with such ease. It seems like such a genuine relationship, which is one of the issues I had with another recent buddy cop movie, Ride Along 2.
I truly believe that the Ride Along duology is one of the worst things to come out of the cinema in the past few years. There was no heart in those films, it just seemed like Kevin Hart and Ice Cube were just cashing in paychecks. Ice Cube was awful, there was nothing of note in his performance, he just seemed bored the whole time, which in turn made me bored. The Nice Guys has the heart and flavor that this sub-genre was so desperately missing and it’s so refreshing. I feel that Shane Black has the knack for these type of films. He knows how to make them just perfect. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was an experience for me and established Shane Black as an action-comedy guru in my eyes and The Nice Guys only further cements his legacy. It’s almost as if this man can do no wrong…
Go see The Nice Guys, it’s some of the most fun I’ve had at the movies in the past couple years and I just couldn’t get the smile off of my face. From beginning to end, and even after the credits rolled and I walked out of the theater, the movie lingered with me and kept me smiling.