Stocky Russell Crowe’s fists are for hire; he’s
Jackson Healy, available to anybody who wants anybody beaten up. Ryan Gosling
playing Holland March is a bumbling detective who’s never cracked a case.
They’re introduced to each other when Healy takes a fee
to amble up to March’s house and break his arm.
But they’re soon on the same side, looking for a missing
girl called Amelia. Goof-ups and gun fights with dead bodies at every corner
lead Jackson and Holland to intrigue that goes all the way to the top.
Everything leads to a climactic chaos where clumsy gangsters
and inept private investigators chase a can of film reel. It’s a porn film they’re
all chasing but it’s got a political message wrapped in it. There’s dirt on the
Detroit car industry packaged within the dirty movie and the big guns don’t
want that to tumble out.
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling clearly enjoy the
nonsense nostalgia that doffs its hat to the 70s. Crowe adds to the comedy by
not even attempting it. Charmer Ryan Gosling as Holland who loves his alcohol,
has a flair for poker-faced fun. It’s his daughter Holly who’s an annoying
presence in the film. She’s a precocious 13-year-old who drives a car and acts
Porn, fun, guns and goons make up this retro
slapstick. Director Shane Black who also co-writes the screenplay, comes up
with enough comic moments in the Justice Department, in a men’s room and in a
protest on the steps, to make this breezy and enjoyable but ultimately,
For nearly two hours of escape cinema which you leave
behind the minute it’s over, The Nice
Guys gets a 3* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Columnist & Author