The Nice Guys is one of my favourite action/comedies – it is just so good! That is mostly down to the trio of main characters, Holland March, his daughter Holly, and his unlikely co-worker Jackson Healy. My favourite of the three is Holland.
Holland March is a disaster and I love that about him. He drinks too much, is self-destructive, self-loathing, and isn’t always a great dad though it’s clear he loves his daughter a lot. He’s also incredibly clumsy and, for all intents and purposes, a classic screw up.
All that doesn’t sound like a pretty likeable or great protagonist but there’s something endearing about Holland and how useless he is. Maybe it’s because he and everyone around him expects him to fail that when he doesn’t it’s such a surprise – to him and everyone else! Holland’s a private detective and it’s not always clear whether he’s a good one. But sometimes his ability to think outside the box (whether due to his intelligence or the copious amount of alcohol in his system) means he sees things other people don’t.
Holland March is easily agitated and is not one to keep calm in a crisis but somehow he still manages to make things turn out OK for himself. How he doesn’t die over the course of the film is truly a miracle. Also, just how he/Ryan Gosling screams in this film always makes me laugh.
It’s the end of the year so that means it’s time for best-of lists! So if you haven’t spotted my top ten list on HeyUGuys Movie Bloggers Top Ten – a list you should check out because it’s interesting to see what a load of different bloggers love – here is my top ten and my thoughts on each film. Now please note, all of these were released in the UK in 2016 because as you’ll notice, a couple of these films came out last year in America. If the film title has a link, it goes to my review of it. These are kind of in order but really the only one that has a definite spot is my number one film of the year, nothing has beaten it.
10. 13th 13th is a powerful and important documentary about the American prison system and racism in America. It’s shocking and frustrating at times because it shows how racism is almost encouraged through laws, still it’s riveting film everyone should watch.
9. Midnight Special Midnight Special really surprised me. It’s definitely one of those films that benefits from going into it knowing as little as possible. It’s a beautiful film full of love and hope and a special kind of magic.
8. Spotlight Spotlight was so stressful but so good! Just seeing the time and effort this group of ordinary journalists to share the truth about something so horrible is inspiring (more…)
Unlicensed 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.