Reviewed by: Gabriel Mohler
murder in the Bible
alcoholic / drunk
smog and the U.S. auto industry
What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer
If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer
|Featuring:||Ryan Gosling … Holland March
Russell Crowe … Jackson Healy
Kim Basinger … Amelia's mother
Matt Bomer …
Keith David … Older Guy
Ty Simpkins … Bobby
Sandra Rosko … Comedy Store Waitress
Hannibal Buress … Giant Killer Bee
Yaya DaCosta …
|Director:||Shane Black—“Iron Man 3” (2013), “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (2005)|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
The title of “The Nice Guys” refers to two detectives, Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe). Aside from their language, they are somewhat nice guys who care about people and will seemingly stop at nothing to accomplish justice. So if only the film “The Nice Guys” was nice as the nice guys in it. What a shame that the film itself doesn’t have the same integrity as the characters it portrays as good.
I’m not sure if “The Nice Guys” was intended to carry a particular message or not, because it is a very hypocritical film. It is a murder mystery connected to porn stars and producers, who are either portrayed as victims, perverts, or just low-lives, in general. March and Healy strongly frown on the porn industry, as do most of the protagonists to one extent or another.
It might follow, then, that the nudity in this film would be a mere honest portrayal of what goes on in the industry. I’m not saying that would be okay, but at least I could have a little respect for its intentions. But, unfortunately, although the nudity often does make sense in the plot, it is still shown in crude contexts that are played for laughs. These scenes clash rather confusingly with how the porn industry is portrayed.
Bare breasts are clearly visible in four scenes, though none of these last more than about five seconds. No genitals are ever actually shown; whenever there is full frontal nudity, the pubic region is always shaded out or obscured. However, there is a brief shot where dancers at a party wear tight panties that leave little to the imagination. We also see a few second clip of a porn film that shows a sex scene without nudity.
In addition, just because the characters are called out on their language a few times doesn’t keep them from using it. There are 8 misuse’s of God’s name and one “swear to God,” and 11 of Jesus, two of which are paired with Christ. There are also 83 f-words, s-words (25), d**ns (4), h*ll (2), d**k (7), f*g (1), blow (1), “son of a b***h” (2), and an irreverent use of “hallelujah.”
The film gets pretty violent, at times. There are car crashes, hand-to-hand combat, shootouts, and a few dead bodies. Some of these scenes are bloody, and some aren’t.
I was surprised at the film’s positive content. Healy and March display many admirable qualities. All the protagonists learn to work together as a team, despite personal conflicts, and there is even a capitalistic message. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are great together as actors, and the young female actress Angourie Rice gives a stunning performance. The film is witty, quirky, smart, and stylish, and I really enjoyed the parts that weren’t trashed with obscenity.
The porn industry is a very heavy subject matter to deal with, and this film does not take it seriously enough. Perhaps I’m reading too deep, but the basic message seems to be that pornography is a bad industry, but since it exists, we might as well enjoy it. There is redemption in the story, but, sadly, the film fails to redeem itself. “The Nice Guys” isn’t as bad as I expected, but I could still never recommend it.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy to extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…a cheerfully aimless plunge into the scuzzy noir soul of 1970s Los Angeles… At its infrequent best, “The Nice Guys” succeeds in making that pleasure contagious, mining a brash, vigorous comic energy from that sweet spot where male affection and aggression collide. …
—Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
…This is a dumb movie pretending to be smart, even as it wants you to believe the opposite. …despite all its restless detective work, “The Nice Guys” is unable to track down a soul or a reason for being.
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
…one of the more unpleasant viewing experiences of the year. 1 out of 5. …
—Christian Hamaker, Crosswalk
…These are not nice men, and this dark dramedy is not a nice movie. …a nasty narrative… [½/5]
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In
…a smashingly disreputable mystery-comedy free-for-all directed with a wink of trashy zest… an ultra-violent burlesque…
—Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…Not so nice. …seamy slice of violent slapstick… largely unconvincing material…
—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…Ryan Gosling has never been funnier…
—Kristian Lin, Fort Worth Weekly
…a brutal, merciless comedy that embraces pulpy sex and violence without shame or apology… never lives up to the promise of its hilarious first 10 minutes…
—Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald