The tried and tested buddy cop trope has been pretty rough to be a fan of recently. Ride Along and it’s sequel come to mind, although I like both the leads the story was mediocre and relied too heavily on it’s stars to pull an audience to laugh at them. The Nice Guys however gives Gosling and Crowe much better writing to work with and the comedy is clever, both visually and dialogue driven and gives the actors (even those outside of the front two) some great moments to shine in.
Following the death of a porn actress, March (Gosling) and Healy (Crowe) cross paths in their search and through mutual goals team up to find her. Running into the lowest, trashiest LA have to offer in the process. Yet finding self worth in this work these two have clearly lacked for the better part of their lives.
It’s just as crude, if you like that in your humour, but doesn’t use cheap ways to make you chuckle. Baring maybe the kid proclaiming he has a big dick. Crowes straight face, hard man attitude bounces off Gosling’s warmer yet gormless character really well. I’d be doing the film an injustice if I didn’t mention the performances of Beau Knapp and Holly March, who more than hold their own.
The set design is immaculate and provides great for smooth, tension building action set pieces that are a pleasure to watch. I’m not surprised I liked this film because it shares a lot with Drive (2011), same location, lead actor and although the genre and narratives are completely different the style is still there.
The intrigue comes from how these two (let’s face it) idiots will go to great lengths to do their job. And in doing so go from completely hating each other to teaming up over a hatred of the scum around them. I have to say, it’s nice to know the buddy cop film hasn’t dissolved completely, so long as there’s a chemistry and heart to it that makes you care more about what’s happening on screen than where the next dick joke is coming from.