Nice Guys

On Monday evening, Tracy and I, in respective screenings in Johannesburg and Cape Town, joined you guys for a preview of The Nice Guys. And boy, was it nice great! We asked you guys to let us what you thought of the movie, and gathered some of those thoughts below. Of course, before I get to that I have to add my own 2c – hey, I can’t stop my film reviewer ways! – so here’s my mini review:

The Nice Guys is not a nice surprise. To say that would imply two things: That we expected anything less from writer/director Shane Black, the action-comedy master who gave us Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and penned Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout and more; and that “nice” is an appropriate enough descriptor for this brilliantly raucous piece of entertainment. And have no doubts, it is primarily that – entertainment. So while there are some hints at bigger socio-economic issues, and conflicted characters, you’re not here to furrow brows and ponder moral quandaries, but rather just sit back in slack-jawed amazement at the ridiculously fun thrill ride that Black has cooked up.

Most of that fun coming from the masterstroke pairing of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, respectively playing a goofball, booze hound private eye, and a hard-nosed, nose-breaking LA fixer in 1970’s Hollywood. The odd(ly compelling) couple get caught up in a crazy, twisty tale of Hollywood sleaze, corporate greed, disproportionately mature and mouthy kids (hey, it wouldn’t be a Shane Black movie without them!) and Kim Basinger’s eerily immobile facial features, when they try to track down a missing girl who may just be a recently dead porn star somehow come back to life.

The story gets absolutely absurd at times, but in the all best ways as Gosling and Crowe just take over every scene they’re in, with the former’s cowardice and almost non-existent alcohol tolerance leading to endless hilarity (Seriously, this is the finest comedic work in the career of Gosling who has firmly left behind his “just a pretty face” roots). Let me rephrase for emphasis though: Holy hell, is this movie funny! The jokes and gags come thick and fast, sometimes bordering on slapstick – even when things get really violent and risque – and they had me busting my gut like I haven’t done in ages. And Black stages all the set pieces with incredible precision, which is impressive once you see how crazed things get, really leveraging both sides of the action-comedy equation in equal measure.

The Nice Guys is quite frankly just some of the most fun I’ve had in a cinema in a long time, bolstered by an absolutely paradigm-shifting performance from Gosling, all supported by great co-stars, sumptuous production design and Shane Black at his black-humour (pun fully intended) best! 4/5

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Of course, we’re all special little snowflakes with our own opinions, so let’s see if you guys are all in agreement with me!

Michael Robertson:

Cried.

So funny I cried. The last time I heard that much laughter in the crowd was when we watched Deadpool.

Local audiences might battle with all the blasphemy but other than that 11 / 10 !!!!!!

Katrine Claasens:

Thanks for the opportunity to see Nice Guys. I really enjoyed the movie. Some of the jokes fell a bit flat, but as the people behind me laughed uproariously throughout, maybe that was just me. I thought the comradely chemistry between the two leads was excellent and it was nice to see Ryan Gosling stepping out of the rom-com/drama arena and successfully negotiating a different kind of role.
I would give it 3/5

Ryan Reese Holtzhausen:

The movie was crazy fun and we really enjoyed it! There were some real pearlers in there and one or two unsuspecting twists. Ryan Gosling was just hilarious and teamed up with Russel Crowe was unsuspected but worked so well. 4/5

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Sarah Raine:

The Nice Guys… fantastic chemistry between Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Lots of action and pretty unpredictable judging from the shieks from the audience. Highly recommended. A few nude scenes but nothing mom and dad would disapprove of. I am sure there will be a sequel .. *****

Tali Hoffman:

Sometimes movies just try too hard. Despite having a good cast, good special effects and rich film references, the plot and script fell flat. The storyline has the feel of something that was rewritten several times and lost its depth in the process. Frequent hints were made to character complexity and a richer plot, but these were never followed through. Stuck between two identities, the film was neither pure slapstick/detective action comedy, nor was it witty, well-crafted film noir that tipped its hat to 70’s nostalgia. Despite the admirable efforts of Gosling and Crowe, The Nice Guys only warrants a nasty 2 out 5.

Sean van Staden:

Went with 3 of my mates and we had a laugh. The acting was o ut of this world and being a movie addict, it has been a long time since I had some belly laughter. There was a lot of chemistry between the actors and it showed.

The only irritation was amilas mom. Don’t know if she is sick or had too much plastic surgery but her acting was a little odd. I feel they could have done better there but for the overall film I am giving itn5 popcorn stars.

One of the best movies I have watched all year. Can’t wait for the sequel.

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Shashen:

Thank you very much for give me an awesome night out to watch a super funny movie, I truly had a great time watching Nice Guys and clearly everyone around me enjoyed it just as much, I honestly can’t remember laughing so hard in the movies the way this movie got me laughing for me its 4*

Lianne Teubes:

I’m not even a fan of action movies yet thoroughly enjoyed this movie!😀 It was a very exciting, enjoyable and funny movie. It really has a bit of everything in it and should please most types of viewers. Russel Crowe and the gorgeous Ryan Gosling start brilliantly in this action packed comedy with a great story line. Excellent special effects leaving you on the edge of your seat. If you feel like seeing a combination of both a good action movie and a good comedy where you can enjoy a good laugh this movies for you! Thankyou for letting me attend this movie screening. My mother and I both thoroughly enjoyed it! *****

Glenn Runnals:

Ryan Gosling plays an awful Private Detective and Russell Crowe an efficient, muscle for hire, enforcer.

The duo join forces and what seems a simple missing persons case ends up involving a porn film that has a meaningful plot, corruption in the motor industry, catalytic converters as well as side distractions involving giant killer bees and former President Richard Nixon among others

It is great fun throughout. From Gosling’s issues with the sight of blood (which most times is his own) and drinking which leads to him either falling into, over or down things and which usually ends up helping the investigation. His daughter seems to know more of what’s going on than he does most of the film.

Crowe’s character has issues as well, involving trying not to drink and killing people. He is a restrained funny to Gosling’s bumbling P.I. that ends up making both look funnier. Both actors make us care about their characters and are well cast.

Director Shane Black has cast, directed and written another winner here. The Nice Guys is a nice change (pun fully intended) of pace from fighting superheroes, mutants and Orcs.
****
4 outta 5 stars

Peter Van Staden:

I am not one for movie reviews. But I will review your event. The Show was awesome. The venue setup and how everything was coordinated was stellar. All I have to say is thank you very much !

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Samantha Davids:

The Nice Guys – Ridiculously funny!! I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I don’t think anybody was prepared for such a hilarious, suspense filled, action packed investigation. I would definitely rate it a 5/5.

Quinton Dos Santos:

From the first scene of The Nice Guys, you know exactly what to expect – action, well timed puns and of course girls. Set in the 70’s, the film stays true to the styles and colorful characters one can expect from the Hollywood scene at that time. With brilliant performances by both Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who prove that they can deliver one lines after one liner with ease, this is set to be a crime comedy classic. These two may not be known for their comedic skills, but they blew me away with their snappy comebacks and satirical prowess. The only let-down was the overall plot. Although some clever, yet predictable, twists saved it, the ending seemed rushed and open ended. The portrayal of Amelia Kuttner by Margaret Qualley also left much to be desired. Then again, who needs an award winning plot when the audience is in stitches most of the film. Overall a good watch and a great night out!

Khalil Hassim:

Nice Guys is not an Oscar winning movie and it’s not a going to have a record breaking opening weekend but it is going to entertain you from start to finish.
There’s a plot, one we’ve all seen before in some shape or form, but that’s not the point of the movie, the point is Crowe and Gosling, the two are hilarious together and pull off their respective roles with aplomb. The movie had an air of nonchalance towards the sometimes extreme violence which gave it an almost slapstick feel, but it was far from being silly.
I highly recommend this movie, it’s offers a nice reprieve from the onslaught of superhero/comic action movies of late with a generous dose of witty comedy. 4.5/5

As a side note, I brought my mother along to the screening. She’s a 60+ year old woman going through a number of life changing events at the moment. She laughed the whole way through the movie, it was a much appreciated and lovely sound to my ears.

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So besides for a few exceptions, I think it’s safe to say that you all loved The Nice Guys just as much as we did. The movie opens in cinemas this Friday, so the rest of you better go check it out!

Read  Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets review - A fantastic looking space opera with little chemistry

And once again, thanks to our partners at Times Media for making all of this possible!

 

Last Updated: January 4, 2017

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Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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