Sometimes you just want to watch a film. By which I mean, you want to enjoy something which is smart but not too clever clever, good company without trying too hard, which is interesting enough to tell a story without expecting you to get out the charts to explain the plot afterwards, and human not superhuman. It’s handy if it’s over and done inside two hours. Welcome to The Nice Guys. It’s a comfort blanket of a film – and I mean that as the highest praise. I loved it.
We’re meant to be in 1977 Los Angeles and we begin with the death in a car accident of porn star Misty Mountains. It gets a bit complicated from there but what we have are down-at-heel good guys (that’d be Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe) attempting to locate a missing girl, fight off some thugs, overcome corruption and keeping a teenage daughter happy. There are a few chases, some very good laughs, an old-school quantity of breasts, and Kim Basinger. I like that when someone gets punched it looks like it hurts, and when someone gets killed there’s no stupid pay-off line, but an actual acknowledgement of death. And that that’s done with a surprisingly human touch.
The Nice Guys didn’t do good business on release. It has the feel of a movie that folk might enjoy watching together, maybe over a beer or two, so perhaps it will ‘live’ now it’s at home on DVD and download. I’m not convinced I need a sequel but I suspect I’ll be spending more time with The Nice Guys in the future.