The Nice Guys
Russell Crowe is the punch-drunk, rogue, unlicensed PI who is hired to follow Ryan Gosling, a drunk. slow-witted, private investigator who has been hired to locate a near-sighted Magoo’s niece. Crowe is Bud to Gosling’s Lou; in fact, at one point in the movie Gosling comes across a dead body and delivers the old Abbott & Costello routine where the comedic one is so distraught he’s unable to speak! Once considered a boy genius, having written the script for Lethal Weapon at age 25, director Shane Black has set this crime/noir in 1977 where the underbelly of Los Angeles is swollen by the steam from the gutter as all its clues lead these two PIs to the seedy world of LA porn. It’s more of an homage to Elmore Leonard when it should be influenced by Elmore James! Added to the mix of beige leather and muscle cars is the twelve-year-old daughter of Gosling’s character, who for all intents and purposes has Pamela Sue Martin’s Nancy Drew mysteries memorized, and is the heart and soul of the film as well as quite capable of sharing the spotlight with her two adult stars! She tags along, as kids did in the ’70s, as the astute teen between the two who have alcohol and anger issues in this burly burlesque which references Earth, Wind & Fire, The Waltons and quick-cut editing from that decade. BUT, on the wall in one of the bedrooms, either Holly (Angourine Rice), Gosling’s kid, or Amelia, the lost girl, has a bright yellow Sex Pistols poster …in 1977! OK, the record was out but the poster is bright yellow which signifies the British EMI release and no kid, even one that has appeared in a porn film, had that kind of insight much less the contacts necessary to locate it! Shot in Atlanta, because it still plays catch-up with Los Angeles from 38 years ago!