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Nice Guys, The


Stars: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger, Margaret Qualley, Gil Gerard, Keith David, Beau Knapp, Murielle Telio, Lois Smith

Director: Shane Black

This comedy-thriller set in the Los Angeles of 1977 actually runs like a seventies film. That is to say, it's an (adult) entertainment rather than a comedy or a thriller - its mind on pleasing the audience as much as unreeling a story.

After an opening in which a semi-clad porn star (Telio) crashes her car right through a house and dies in front of the boy who has just been ogling her as a centrefold (mark her last words: they are key to the plot), we meet bumbling alcohol-loving private eye Holland March (Gosling) who, looking for a girl called Amelia (Qualley), gets on the wrong end of muscle-for-hire Jackson Healy (Crowe), who is also looking for Amelia.

Seems that everyone, including a hitman (Bomer), is looking for Amelia, who is not only campaigning about bad air in the city, but also the daughter of the possibly-corrupt head (Basinger) of the city's justice department.

This has all the semi-comic action you's expect from a seventies' crime caper, plus banter between Gosling and Crowe that could be a mite sharper, but works here and there. It's fun all the way through - just don't expect a classic detective yarn.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Icon. Technicolor.
112 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 24 Sep 2016

DVD review