Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Movie Review: The Nice Guys

The first time I saw Russel Crowe on screen, he was playing a hard-nosed cop in LA Confidential. Since then, I’m struggling to remember a movie where Crowe didn’t ultimately play this same sort of character. No matter where I see him, he’s using a physical approach to intimidate everyone and everything in his path. Ryan Gosling tends to play the heart-wrenching sort of character that women tend to fall for. I am imagining a Hollywood producer salivating over the box office returns for pairing these two together. And thus, I can see exactly how this movie got made.

The story was quite fast moving. The scenes were breathtaking at times. The first sequence was an interesting weave of a dream sort of becoming a reality, for at least one person in the scene. What progresses is two hours (though it felt like a lot more), of mysteries steeped onto one another. Much like LA Confidential, there were quite a few twists and turns and the ultimate ‘bad’ guy was never held responsible. The over-arching story was somewhat ridiculous in contrast to the smaller scope story of just finding a missing girl.

The true draw of this movie, the star, was Angourie Rice, who played Gosling’s daughter. Her performance outshined Gosling and Crowe. She was Penny to their Inspector Gadget. In many ways, I had wished they’d just let her run the investigation. Gosling played a drunk sort of character who had some mild competence, while Crowe was the clear muscle (as usual). It was so tired and yet mildly entertaining.

There wasn’t a great deal of diversity to speak of, but both of the non-white characters that were ‘featured,’ and I use the word loosely, ended up being ‘bad guys.’ In a movie that seemed to be contending for an award of some sort, I would have expected more attention paid to this sort of thing, but that wasn’t the case.

I’m not sure I’d recommend this movie. It was amusing, sure, but that isn’t a reason to waste time or money on something. 

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