The Nice Guys
Shane "Always Bet On" Black has a gigundous, red and white candy cane hardon for Xmas. He loves Xmas so much he doesn't just want to marry it, he wants to be its gimp-suited, ball-gagged bitch. He dreams of fondling Frosty's snowballs. He'd give Santa the holliest, jolliest blumpkin ever. He wants to do things with Rudolph that are illegal in every state except Alabama.
How else do you explain why Black crams Xmas into pretty much every movie he's ever written - including Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight - or directed - including Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3 and now The Nice Guys? Black would find a way to work Xmas into a story set 10 billion years ago on an alien world uninhabited by humans . . . in the middle of fucking summer.
The only two things Black likes almost as much as Xmas are buddy-action-comedy stories and film noir. It's no Verbal-Kint-is-Keyser-Soze surprise, then, that The Nice Guys is a neo-noir, buddy-action-comedy that manages to shoehorn Xmas in like poor Al Bundy cramming some Louboutin knockoffs onto one of his manatee customers.
It's 1977 in Los Angeles, which means the cars are big, gas lines are long and porn ain't free. Private detective Holland March (Ryan "A Baby Goose Is A" Gosling) has been hired to find a missing twenty-something girl. Professional knee-breaker Jackson Healy (Russell "You Know Nothing John" Crowe) has been hired to back March off the case. Faster than you can say "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" the two are forced to reluctantly partner up to find the girl and solve a sinister mystery before they get their tickets punched by the likes of Keith "Yea It's Keith David!" David or Matt "Boner" Bomer.
March is a drunk with a throat-punchingly precocious 13-year-old daughter, Holly (Angourie "Red Beans And" Rice), who's actually a better detective than he is. Healy is a sad sack loner who doesn't drink, a point that's made many times, but because Black and crew never tell us why Healy doesn't drink, we couldn't give less of a fuck about it. Which means that when he's six sheets to the wind in the flick's final scene it has all the impact of a gnat queef.
The Nice Guys does make with the titty shots, and it brings Kim "Botoxed To Within An Inch Of Her Life" Basinger back to the big screen, so there's that, but it doesn't hold a Bic to Black's earlier noir love letter, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
June 5, 2016