Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a so-called „Nice Guy“. He delivers messages by beating up people. He is supposed to convey to Holland March (Ryan Gosling), a not that successful P.I., to stop following Amelia, his client. After he beat March up, he is attacked by some criminal henchmen, who want to know Amelia’s whereabouts, at home.
He teams up with March to find Amelia before the thugs. March has been on her trace because he was hired by the aunt of Misty Mountains, a porn star whom we saw die in the very first scene. She insists her niece is still alive and Amelia has something to do with it. While Healy and March investigate into the case, many people involved with Misty or Amelia keep getting killed. What then unfolds is a partly confusing and not overly intriguing case that is made entertaining by the chemistry between Crowe and Gosling as well as the presence of March’s daughter Holly, mature at an early age and played by the very talented Angourie Rice, who will hopefully see more of in the future. Crowe plays a slightly overweight enforcer with sincerity and keeps jabbing at Gosling’s character, who is more of a loser. Gosling can be surprisingly funny with both witty lines and his performance, which upgraded every scene he was in. The humor is probably the biggest strength of the movie: There is a hilarious kid on a bike, Gosling crying like a girl or seemingly messing up their investigation by being drunk all the time and Holly subverting the viewer’s expectations towards a girl. The “action” scenes are neither particularly spectacular nor super funny but there aren’t that many of them anyways. There are some good soundtrack choices and I liked the sequence at the party as well as the overall look, especially the costumes.
All things considered, The Nice Guys shines with its three main actors (including a potential breakout performance by Angourie Rice) and the good dialogue, which was to be expected from buddy movie adept Shane Black. Although the case itself couldn’t catch my full interest, it is the synergy of the lead roles and their well-written banter that made this movie an entertaining watch without quite reaching Black’s previous works.
Der Film lebt absolut von der wunderbaren Chemie von Crowe und Gosling, angetrieben von starken Dialogen von Buddy-Movie-Meister Shane Black. Der aufrichtige und leicht übergewichtige Crowe funktioniert überrschend gut und auch Gosling überzeugt mit verschiedenen Facetten an Humor: Wenn er wie ein Mädchen kreischt, besoffen die Untersuchung scheinbar versaut oder im Dialog mit seiner frühreifen Tochter, die wunderbar von der talentierten Angourie Rice verkörpert wird (von der wir hoffentlich in Zukunft noch mehr sehen). Der Fall selbst ist eher wirr und nicht sonderlich spannend und auch die Action kann nicht so ganz überzeugen, aber die Hauptdarsteller machen das Ganze zu einem unterhaltsamen Film. Hier und da mit netten Witzen (Kind auf Fahrrad), aber manchmal zündet der Humor auch nicht so ganz. Netter Film, der Buddy-Movie-/Shane-Black-Fans unterhalten dürfte, auch wenn er nicht die Qualität seiner Vorgänger erreicht.
Images (incl. title image) © by Concorde Home Entertainment, taken from the official website