“The Nice Guys” takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (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.


Shane Black keeps his solid directorial efforts going, following Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3, with The Nice Guys.

An indecently enjoyable and frequently hilarious film with a fantastic soundtrack, it finds Black on firm if familiar ground. Basically it's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 70s clothing, a mismatched buddy comedy in an LA detective noir setting, but is no less enjoyable for that.

Much of the pleasure of course comes from Black's knack for writing quotable dialogue, but Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe's double act is where the real fun lies. Gosling in particular relishing the chance to be the incompetent and clumsy stooge to Crowe's violent (mostly) straight man. Gosling doesn't do comedy enough but he should as there's a natural clown hiding behind the annoying good looks. Aussie actress Angourie Rice is also excellent as Gosling's daughter, Matt Bomer is an effectively unpleasant killer, while Kim Basinger, along with Crowe, ensures that thoughts of LA Confidential are never too far away.

Admittedly the central mystery involving porn stars and the automotive industry never quite resolves satisfactorily, but it is just a convenient hook to hang the enjoyable Gosling/Crowe double act on.

The ending points to a potential sequel, which on the evidence of this will be very welcome indeed.

By Kevin Knapman

The Nice Guys (15)

1h 56m

Shane Black
Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David, Kim Basinger

UK Release: Friday 3rd June 2016