The Nice Guys

We just got back from watching The Nice Guys, a film starring Scruffy Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, but sadly no other avian-named actors that I recognized. I was quite worried that I’d be disappointed by it, but it had me hooked throughout, and chortling out loud in the final (ridiculous) action sequence.

It’s yet another mismatched buddy movie, but with good dialogue. Near the start Crowe’s character gives Gosling’s a broken arm, and such is the foundation of their partnership. There’s some great physical comedy in here (Ryan Gosling losing a fight with the door of a toilet cubicle is a wondrous thing to see) along with profanity, 70s porno and a palm tree being machine gunned to death.

Some of the twists (eg Evil Kim Basinger) are visible from a mile off, whereas others are complete surprises. It’s also surprising that the novelty of seeing Gosling as a mendacious, slovenly buffoon doesn’t wear off over two hours. I must say I’m impressed at how much variety has been squeezed into the simple act of people falling off things.

Or perhaps I was just blinded by the wonder of Russell Crowe’s blue leather jacket.

The Nice Guys is a sort of companion piece to The Big Lebowski: released 19 years later, set 14 years earlier. Both films feature bowling, porn magnates, briefcases filled with “cash”. One has much more violence, the other has Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and a marmot in a bath. Both have a fair selection of very dumb people suffering the consequences of their actions, and both are shaggy dog stories; Im not sure I’ll remember The Nice Guys by tomorrow afternoon, but it was fun while it lasted.

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