The Nice Guys is the latest movie from Shane Black, of late from Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. More notably for me, he also wrote the first two Lethal Weapon movies, which I consider the quintessential buddy cop movies. I’m in the minority that was underwhelmed by Kiss Kiss; I thought it was cute but nothing special. The Nice Guys was pleasantly surprising, but still no classic.
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling made for a really good buddy “cop” (they’re PIs) team. Crowe is his usual gruff bad ass, but Gosling played delightfully against type as a bit of a goof and a inept loser. I really enjoyed their pairing, though obviously they’re no Riggs and Murtaugh. I also liked the addition of Gosling’s teenage daughter on the case.
The actual story, like most cop movies, isn’t terribly engrossing, but it had a lot of fun twists and some interesting and colorful (if one dimensional) villains. There’s some good action scenes and a great sense of humor is prevalent throughout. The 1970s setting makes for a visually different look, but it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t make the movie look dated or silly.