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The Nice Guys

‘The Nice Guys’ plays very much based on the cop buddy formula. ‘Lethal Weapon’ and other similar films have spawned countless sequels using the same template. There’s a mechanical nature to these with the opposite ways of seeking justice the gist of the action and humour. Having made a living writing films such as the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series, writer/director Shane Black spins a solid yarn with ‘The Nice Guys’ another feather in his action-orientated cap.

Making a living in 1977 Los Angeles, P.I. Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is tasked with investigating the death of ‘adult entertainer’ Misty Mountains. His search leads him to Amelia (Margaret Qualley), a young girl who is also hunted by enforcer Jackson Healey (Russel Crowe) whose unorthodox ways are the opposite to March’s. When Amelia disappears, the men are forced to unite as they face a gaggle of goons, porn stars and assorted wildlife in Hollywood’s crazy playground.

‘The Nice Guys’ is a very entertaining romp. Like any good action comedy, it relies heavily on the lead’s chemistry. Gosling and Crowe have that in spades, as their comic timing is as important as their action frolics. Both are seasoned acting pros and appear to enjoy the outlandish dialogue and script. Their co-stars throw themselves into the fray with equal gusto under Black’s measured direction.

The 1970’s setting of ‘The Nice Guys’ is put to good use. Everything about the era is lovingly recreated without overwhelming the story. It’s a gorgeous looking movie to look at making for consistently enjoyable viewing. The pacing rarely slows with enough character moments to allow you to invest in their mission and to marvel at the often exciting stunt-work.

‘The Nice Guys’ has a slick, rough charm to it and a solid balance of humour and action. Shane Black knows this genre well and has been wise to stick to it. If more films like these make a success of the cop buddy formula then it should last longer than the conga-line of sequels it has created.

Rating out of 10: 7

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON NETFLIX.

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