Movie review: The Nice Guys

April 21, 2016 - The Nice Guys - Poster and cover for the official soundtrack that will be released by Lakeshore Recors on May 20, 2016

I knew I should have written this up right after I saw the movie, or at the very least, the next day.

But I didn’t, and now it’s been almost a week since I’ve seen it, and I really wish it were completely fresh in my head because I don’t think I’m going to do it justice. I’ll try.

In The Nice Guys, directed and co-written by Shane Black, alcoholic PI Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and muscle-for-hire-with-a-heart-of-gold Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) get thrown together when a prominent adult film star dies, or at least appears to. This sets off a wild and complicated chase for the truth that I don’t want to spoil a thing about. (How’s that for a try? I waited so long so you don’t get any spoilers!)

I’ll just cut to the chase here–The Nice Guys may well end up being considered a classic. It’s smartly directed, completely hilarious (I don’t think there’s a dud joke in the whole movie), and extraordinarily smartly scripted. Heck, it even has a kid in it as an important character who not only isn’t annoying, but adds greatly to the film! How is that for an achievement?

Set in 1978, the recreation of the era is nearly perfect (I did catch one howler–see if you can spot it). Anyone who grew up in the era would certainly enjoy just looking at it, as much as that sounds like something most people wouldn’t want to look at. Also, anyone who enjoyed the detective and tough guy TV shows, movies, and novels of the ’70s and early ’80s is going to find not just something but pretty close to everything to love about this movie.

It’s terrific. See it now.

And also…

…there is a novelization by Charles Ardai (AKA Richard Aleas), founder and editor-in-chief of the terrific Hard Case Crime and a highly accomplished novelist as well. I haven’t read it yet, but after loving this movie, loving Hard Case Crime, and loving his novels, I most certainly will.

The Nice Guys novelization