When someone tells a bad joke to a group of people, they get a few snickers and maybe some sympathetic laughs. The Nice Guys would be an example of if you told that same bad joke for the fourth or fifth time; people roll their eyes, sigh and wish they were in the other cinema screen next door.
Written and directed by Shane Black, we see Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), a man who sorts out "problems" for people, cross paths with the alcoholic Holland March (Ryan Gosling), who was assessed by his daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), as being the worst private detective ever. They work together to investigate the apparent suicide of famous porn star Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio), leading them to tracking down Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley), who appears to have more people chasing after her than she realised.
This was Ryan Gosling’s first movie following the incredibly successful “The Big Short” and Russell Crowe has many successful movies under his belt, such as “Noah” and “Man of Steel”. With these previous successes, I approached this movie with positivity, only to be dropped down a 116 minute pit of disappointment.
Set in the 70’s, this action comedy movie starts with a young boy sneaking into his parent’s room to steal the top shelf magazine lying underneath the bed. He walks down the corridor looking at this magazine while a car is hurtling down the hill towards him outside the window in the background. The car ploughs into the house just missing the boy, however the boy and his magazine has nothing to do with anything else throughout the rest of this movie, this happened to be an odd way of showing someone dying in a car crash.
There were many other odd moments that unnecessarily distracted from the plot of the movie, especially the feeble attempts to fish for laughs. In one scene, Holland March (Ryan Gosling) rolls down a hill while drunk, leans on a tree, lights a cigarette, then looks to his side to find a dead body. March then excessively exhales while attempting to shout for Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe). The first couple of times he does this, it is funny, but by the tenth time and a minute in, it’s lost its humour and turned into a cringey desperate attempt for laughs.
Despite the negative points, the story it’s self was actually quite interesting. Holland March and Jackson Healy are an unexpectedly powerful duo who manage to stumble their way through the situations they faced, in a mostly unprofessional and drunken manner, it was the forced humour that let it down.