December 5, 2016

The Nice Guys (2016)

Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe

This movie was odd. Like, Big Lewbowski odd.

Ok, not quite this weird
First of all, it's a comedy, but also a serious mystery. It's complicated enough that you can't even guess the full plot or who's behind it all until at least halfway through, which is sort of impressive because I can always guess the end. It makes me really annoying to watch movies with. (I suppose I could just keep my predictions to myself, but what fun would that be??)

This movie was marketed really badly. I remember watching the trailer and having no idea at the end of it what the hell the movie was about. Maybe the producers thought they could sell the movie on the backs of Gosling and Crowe's names alone? It's too bad, because the movie is quite clever and I'm sure I'm not the only one who skipped it in the theaters because of the way it was promoted.

Seriously. I'm semi-concerned.
Gosling, as a single father and alcoholic PI, does a brilliant job of being both a lovable drunk and a scuzzy businessman and father. Though maybe he's just lovable because you know, Ryan Gosling. It's impossible to dislike him. Even when he's ugly and in horrible movies like this one. Crowe, on the other hand, despite having put on a distracting amount of weight, plays an even-tempered muscle man who beats people up for a living. The combination of the erratic Gosling and the deep-voiced Crowe is perfect.

Fake Anna Chlumsky, aka Gosling's daughter in the movie, also does a fantastic job and deserves a shout-out because believable child acting is such a rarity. She adds an extra element of absurdity to the events and keeps the plot lighthearted even throughout intense action sequences.

With movies becoming seemingly more and more dumbed down with sequel upon sequel, let's all take a moment and recognize some appreciation for a movie that manages to craft a cagey little plot that uses its action to further and enhance the plot, not cover up the lack of one.

Final word: Entertaining. Surprisingly so.

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