Director: Shane Black
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice
Release Date: August 23, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Set in 1970s Los Angeles, down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Welcome to 1970’s Los Angeles, a drastically different world fueled by sex, drugs and crime, not to mention the perfect working ground for a private eye and other related careers. ‘The Nice Guys’ tells the story of two mismatched individuals; one a relatively unimpressive private detective and single father, the other an aging enforcer with some strong principles. When the two reluctantly join forces in order to find a missing girl and solve a mystery surrounding her disappearance that involves some important players, hilarious consequences ensue as the two bumbling investigators cause one mishap after another in their unrelenting investigation. Now, if the two can merely learn to work as a team, they just might stand a chance of taking down those responsible as opposed to themselves.
Directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) from a script he also co-wrote along with first time screenwriter Anthony Bagarozzi, Black does a flawless job at the helm of ‘The Nice Guys’, guiding this wonderfully entertaining ride with perfection. The film also owes a tremendous amount of credit to the talented individuals who comprise the cast including Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Keith David, Kim Basinger and more, nearly all of whom deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles, although Crowe and Gosling are unquestionably the true standouts here as the surprisingly fantastic chemistry between the two results in the best mismatched pairing in some time.
‘The Nice Guys’ is downright amazing, a consistently hilarious and ridiculously fun private eye buddy flick set in Hollywood during the 70’s from the master of buddy flicks, the one and only Shane Black who penned the original Lethal Weapon. Once again at the helm of a script he also co-wrote, Black delivers another outstanding and wildly entertaining ride with ‘The Nice Guys’ which is right up there with his phenomenal ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ and definitely not to be missed. Black’s witty charm and style is perfectly complimented by the hilarious and spot-on performances from Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling who make one of the best mismatched comedic pairings in recent memory, never missing a beat and playing off of each other beautifully. The 1970’s Hollywood setting also does its own wonders in allowing a perfect opportunity to truly accentuate the noir-like 70’s private-dick flick vibe which Black manages to effortlessly nail in nearly every frame. ‘The Nice Guys’ is easily one of the best films I’ve had the pleasure of this year and a true masterpiece in nearly every way. This one unquestionably receives my highest recommendation; it’s not to be missed.
Overall, ‘The Nice Guys’ is an insanely enjoyable mash up of classic 70’s detective noir and awkward buddy action-comedy at its best. Guided beautifully by the talented Shane Black and featuring hilariously perfect performances from Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling who make one of the most surprisingly fantastic mismatched pairings in some time, ‘The Nice Guys’ is a true gem and undoubtedly one of the best films of 2016 so far. Anyone who appreciates the work of Shane Black or simply a well made and hilarious mystery through the wild streets of Hollywood in the 70’s, I would highly recommend checking this one out ,chances are you’ll be thrilled you did.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Nice Guys’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole, delivering a consistently sharp and detailed presentation complimented by a healthy bitrate that perfectly represents the colorful film. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and fast paced sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that should easily please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a perfect complement to this incredibly fun film with a crisp and clean presentation from start to finish that also gets fairly aggressive on a number of occasions, utilizing all five available channels in order to send bullets, vehicle noise and crowd chatter, along with plenty more throughout the various speakers and never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and contributes yet another layer of fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Nice Guys’ includes a couple brief, yet enjoyable Featurettes that feature interviews/comments with the cast and crew. The included Featurettes are: ‘Worst. Detectives. Ever. Making The Nice Guys’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length), and ‘Always Bet on Black’ (running approximately 5 minutes).