Ryan Gosling

REVIEW: The Nice Guys (2016)

the nice guys movie posterUnlicensed private detective Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is forced to team up with Holland March (Ryan Gosling), an unlucky private detective, when he needs to find a girl called Amelia (Margaret Qualley) the daughter of government official Judith Kuttner (Kim Basinger). Soon the mismatched pair realise they might be involved in a bigger and more dangerous case than either of them thought.

The Nice Guys is a lot of fun. This is mainly down to two things, the chemistry between Crowe and Gosling and the brilliant script. Healy and March really are a mismatched pair, they are so different but they work so well together and balance each other out. The script just highlights the chemistry between them. All the dialogue is witty and clever and there’s always some surprises.

Holly (Angourie Rice), Holland March’s daughter, treads the fine line between being overly-involved in the case and being smart and wise. Her character helps smooth out the rough edges of Healy and helps keep her dad on the right side of criminal.

As The Nice Guys is set in the 1970’s and is very much a noir film, there’s all the usual characters including femme fatales, conspiracies, thugs and there’s a lot of death and destruction. The Nice Guys revels in it all and even when the case itself is one of those that seems to get bigger and more convoluted as it goes along, in the end you realise that everything really is connected. Plus there’s still some great character moments in amongst all the laughs.

The Nice Guys is smart, hilarious and a little absurd but that just makes it even more brilliant. 5/5.

REVIEW: The Big Short (2015)

the-big-short-posterWhen a small group of outsiders saw what the media, big banks and government refused to acknowledge, they had an idea. The housing market wasn’t as stable as the banks liked people to believe and when these outsiders realised that, they invested and bet against the banks – if they were right it would lead to big money for them but it would also mean the end to capitalism as we know it.

There’s four groups of people who realise what’s going to happen to the housing market and they very rarely cross each other’s paths. Michael Burry (Christian Bale) is the eccentric hedge fund manage who makes the discovery that the US housing market is incredibly unstable and figures out a way to make money from that. His pitch is then discovered by trader Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and he decides to get in on the action and one misplaced phone call alerts hedge fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) to his plans and Baum and his team is convinced to join Vennett. The final set of characters The Big Short follows are young investors Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) who become involved with the credit default swaps with the help of retired banker Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt).

All these characters were interesting and determined with what they believed in even when other thought they were crazy. Baum and his small team were brilliant, they were all jaded by the banking system, though Danny Moses (Rafe Spall) is the optimist of the bunch, and the way they bounce off each other make them feel like real people who have been working together for years. (more…)