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Movie Review

Relax and Enjoy 'The Nice Guys'

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The Nice Guys is a thoroughly enjoyable mystery thriller along the lines of the Lethal Weapon series.

The film offers Ryan Gosling as the slick detective who can't quite make it slick, and Russell Crowe as the slob detective who is a little too brutal for his role, but who has a soft side brought out mostly in relation to 12-year-old Angourie Rice, a remarkably restrained and natural actress who functions as heroine and is as good a detective as the other two and a stretch more likeable.

The plot is complicated by red herrings and is structurally clumsy, with a sub-theme essential to the solution to the mystery introduced much too late in the movie, which also suffers from at least two false endings and runs on beyond the point where our interest in the central mystery fades. But on a second viewing that I enjoyed much more than the first, I found that the plot does hang together, though credibility is not its strong point.

The Nice Guys is good fun if you don't take it more seriously than the people who made it do.

It's not particularly funny, except when it wants to be, but there's plenty of comedy right from the start, when the car with the porn queen in it crashes right through the living room walls and into the back yard. Both Crowe and Gosling wind up looking for the porn queen, who is reported to be seen alive after the supposedly fatal crash, and gunfights, beatings up, car chases, slugfests, and mystery women follow in the usual fashion but with little twists like underwater interviews with a mermaid and a lot of Quentin Tarantino-like small talk as Crowe and Gosling turn into buddies.

Relax and enjoy; there's not much more you can do with The Nice Guys.