NARRATOR: Bart, Sarah and Jonathan are spending their leisure day at the city pool. NARRATOR: Let's see what they have brought with them to the pool today.
Three children walk down a staircase, towels in their backs. As they climb up the stairs, the narration returns.
It veers between the clever highs of Shane Black's previous buddy-cop flicks ("Lethal Weapon," "Lethal Weapon 2," and "The Last Boy Scout") and the crass lows of his forebears such as "Busting" and "Freebie and the Bean." As such, its line between playful subversion and straightforward exploitation is continually blurred.
Set in 1977, when gas is up, auto fortunes are dwindling, and porn is as pervasive as smog, "The Nice Guys" sends one of Black's classically mismatched pairs of young guns and old crows on a wild goose chase after a young runaway named Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who may be wrapped up in a larger conspiracy linked with the recent suicide of porn star Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio).
Our heroes, Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling), pass a billboard for “Jaws 2,” which didn’t come out until the summer of 1978.
And, at a rooftop party, a band plays “September,” by Earth, Wind & Fire, which was released even later.
At their initial meeting, one hits the other in the face, but no lasting grudge is borne, for the movie, directed by Shane Black, aims at being a comedy thriller: a delicate hybrid, founded on the belief that hitting people in the face is intrinsically funny.
” The titular nice guys, who will presumably figure out the significance of Misty Mountains last, heavy-chested breath, are Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), an overweight muscle-for-hire with a sad, unexplained past (“Marriage is buying a house for someone you hate”), and Holland March (Ryan Gosling), a drunk but often capable licensed detective who is similarly gloomy. “1977” appears onscreen in a groovy font, but the dilapidated sign and synthesizer soundtrack is enough to firmly place us in the drug- and pollution-filled era of the city. at night, against the silhouette of the Hollywood sign.This retro neo-noir buddy flick from former screenwriter wunderkind Shane Black is the latest movie after "Inherent Vice" and "High Rise" to mine the post-utopian diffusion of 70's genre fiction for riffs on regular folk chewed up and spit out by capitalist conspiracies.As with "Inherent Vice," it's a detective flick set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, but where that film's pretensions had it matching Pynchon to Altman (while half-heartedly claiming the Zucker Brothers), "The Nice Guys" stays proudly lowbrow.