A series of thirteen Instagram shorts, based on Healy's 'word of the day' calendar, in which we are given a word and its definition and then treated to a short clip from The Nice Guys (2016) that relates in some way.
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild F.B.I. Agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and the Mafia.
Set against the backdrop of 1977 Los Angeles, The Nice Guys opens when single father and licensed PI Holland March (Gosling) is hired to investigate the apparent suicide of famous porn star Misty Mountains. As the trail leads him to track down a girl named Amelia (Qualley), he encounters less licensed and less hands-off private eye Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe) and his brass knuckles, both hired by the young hippie. However, the situation takes a turn for the worse when Amelia vanishes and it becomes apparent that March wasn't the only party interested. As both men are forced to team up, they'll have to take on a world filled with eccentric goons, strippers dressed as mermaids and even a possible government conspiracy.Written by
IN BRIEF: A bubble-headed rehash of crime thrillers and buddy movies.
SYNOPSIS: Two inept detectives try to unravel a mystery during the groovy 70's.
JIM'S REVIEW: Take the popular buddy movies of the 80's, add the retro good vibes of the 70's and quickly stir in the grisly blood and violence of the 90's and voila!...you have a half-baked movie entitled The Nice Guys, a film with no identity to call its own. To any unsuspecting moviegoer sitting through this dreadful rehash, the age-old adage, nice guys finish last, becomes all too true.
The setting is L.A. during the mid 70's. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe play misfits Holland March and Jackson Healy, a couple of low-life PIs who join forces to solve a convoluted mystery involving a missing girl, a porn starlet, and how two distinguished actors can pick a real loser.
This alleged comedy is directed by Shane Black, whose previous experiences with this crime genre, like Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, has shown the filmmaker to have had some relative success. Here, he is more concerned with capturing the seventies era with his references to killer bees, rationed gas lines, disco music, and pong video games than delivering an entertaining and logical film.
His screenplay, co-written with Anthony Bagarozzi, is a total mess. Its plot frequently detours to violent chases and shoot-outs as it tries to connect the two unsolved cases and add some far less clever one-liners between the assorted mayhem. The crime and the comedy elements rarely align unless one agree that this comedy is indeed a crime and a waste of time and talent.
The casting of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, two actors known more for their heavy dramatic roles rather than their light comic style, seems off from the start. When it comes to the high art of comedy, the track record of both actors is spotty as best. (While Mr. Gosling has had some success in this area, with film projects such as Crazy, Stupid, Love and Lars and the Real Girl, Mr. Crowe's comedy film credits include only Noah, a true laugh-riot.) Together, the two leads have zero chemistry between them.
Their foray as two wild and crazy guys is a dismal failure. Their so-called comedy bits are labored and bereft of humor. In fact, in one desperate scene, Mr.Gosling tries to channel the comic timing of Bud Abbott's double takes which elicited groans rather than laughs from the audience members. A paunchy Mr. Crowe is briefly united with an air-brushed Kim Basinger, his LA Confidential co-star, in a brief scene or two. Let us just say time has not been kind to either star and move on from there.
In supporting roles, Matt Bomer is underused as John Boy, a paid assassin, and Beau Knapp as a blue-faced killer is more annoying than menacing.The talents of fine actors like Keith David and Lois Smith are squandered in this dud. Only Margaret Qualley as Amelia and Angourie Rice as Holland's wiser-than-her-years teenage daughter create real characters, but that is due to their screen presence rather than the dialog they are spewing. (Both actresses make a strong impression and do deserve better parts.)
The film is interminably long, makes absolutely no sense, and has no laughs...none! The Nice Guys makes for miserable company. Avoid.
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