Remember the spaghetti westerns of the early 70s- the ‘Trinity’ films and ‘Watch Out We’re Mad’- starring Italians Terrence Hill and Bud Spencer? Well, both the ‘Nice Guys’ too are as recklessly insane as Hollywood permits them to be.
The story may look half-baked: set in LA in 1977 and following the mysterious death of porn star Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio), Holland March (Ryan Gosling), a private investigator and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), whose livelihood is restricted to implementing brawn and muscle into coercing his victims, are hired to trace Amelia (Margaret Qualley), the daughter of Judith Kuttner (Kim Bassinger), the influential Head of the Justice Department.
The opening aerial night shots over LA provide barely any clue of the scenes to follow. Writers Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi bond well to reinvigorate the comedy/action films of the 70s.
The porn film industry provides the (perfect?) setting for the two, uh, nice guys to infiltrate enemy camp brimming with seedy characters and even seedier subplots. Director Shane Black, a pro at action flicks, packs enough spills and thrills for a two-hour film to move rambunctiously along.
Forget the tweaky story, forget the banal sidekicks, concentrate on the chemistry between the two protagonists—Gosling as the bumbling detective (well, not exactly the Peter Sellers type) proves to be more than an ideal foil for Crowe.
The film contains violence and nudity in so small measure: but nevertheless an entertainer all the way.