In a summer where most blockbusters promised so much but delivered so little, it’s refreshing to see a film that mostly fell under the radar in terms of marketing and instead relied on the performance of it’s actors to self-promote the strength and capabilities on display in Shane Black’s 1970s buddy cop adventure.
Round 1 – Plot
A Shane Black movie is commonly known for two things: Christmas and Chemistry. Although the former does not feature heavily in this new outing, the latter definitely does. Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe play two down on their luck, making ends meet Private Investigators who find themselves searching the same person for initially very different reasons.
The simplistic nature of the plot makes it easy to sit back and enjoy the scenery in which this movie is set. It could have been easy for Shane Black to set The Nice Guys in modern day Los Angeles and pole fun at the Social Media culture we live in today. However instead, he and Anthony Bagarozzi decided to set the film deep within the porn industry of the 1970s. Genius. This backdrop only added to the time and effort all on screen were giving, it added a beautiful scenery and utilised a quality soundtrack to only further the story along.
If ever a film deserve the mantle of making a perfect start to contest, then The Nice Guys certainly deserves regarding in this category
ROUND 1 SCORE: THE NICE GUYS WINS 10-6
Round 2 – Characters
Director Shane Black’s decision to cast Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as the two hapless private investigators working the same case from separate points of view gave The Nice Guys the opportunity to roam freely throughout Round 1 with the duos slick back and forths, confident delivery and clear enjoyment to be undertaking a role set within an environment that had the potential to border more towards cliche than classical.
From the opening introductions to the closing moments, Gosling and Crowe show their experience and comfort not only individually but also, and more importantly, as The Nice Guys in which this movie is titled.
Special mention must go to Angourie Rice whose role as Gosling’s 13 year old daughter Holly stands out above the rest. It couldn’t have been easy to outshine two of modern cinema’s acting juggernauts, but Rice managed to steal every scene she appeared in making this an excellent platform to move on to a very bright future
ROUND 2 SCORE: THE NICE GUYS WINS 10-6
Round 3 – Overall Enjoyment
By this point it’s obvious that The Nice Guys is great fun. The plot isn’t burdened with over complicated motives, the characters naturally progress throughout the story, and the tone on the whole warrants a major pat on the back for its simplicity.
Being set in the 1970s porn industry you can be excused to expect bright lights, hard drugs and nudity aplenty, however this is not necessarily all it had to offer. From high-end parties to lowlife diners, The Nice Guys used the setting of the film as its final knockout blow.
With its slick set design to thoroughly enjoyable soundtrack, The Nice Guys hands down wins the summer blockbuster race to be smart but flashy in its storytelling
ROUND 3 SCORE: THE NICE GUYS WINS BY KO
FINAL SCORE: THE NICE GUYS WIN BY KO IN THE 3RD ROUND