The Nice Guys: Impossible to watch

“Gosling” and “Crowe” ‘s unholy partnership turns to a disaster



By Arash Yaghma




Every time I see harsh criticisms on Rotten Tomato or Meta Critic about the movies I love, I get angry. But of course I convince myself that the fact that “I” liked the movie does not have to mean that the movie is actually good from a technical and dramatic standpoint. And then…this happens and reveals how terribly wrong those rating could be:

The Nice Guys is rated on 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 70 percent on Meta Critic. The plot is knitted around two main characters Holland March (Gosling) a Private Investigator and Jackson Healy (Crowe) a hired enforcer (read: a PI who doesn’t want to be a PI) with a cop-buddy kind of relationship living in LA of 1977.

The movie tries so hard  – and fails – in creating an atmosphere similar to the one of movies like “Lethal Weapon“, where the friendship between two police officers, help them in solving a difficult case. In that endeavor, screenwriters go as far as creating:

  • One character called “March”who has lost his wife (similar to Mel Gibson’s “Riggs”)
  • One character – “Healy” – who doesn’t like to be restricted by the rules and be a licensed PI(“Riggs” again)
  • One central criminal case about porn, prostitution and drugs (Like the case that “Riggs” and “Murtaugh” work on in Lethal Weapon)
The problems with this movie starts with the main idea of it: putting two actors with almost no comedy in their career in leading and supporting roles
The problems with this movie starts with the main idea of it: putting two actors with almost no comedy in their career in the leading and supporting roles of a comedy (photo by Daniel Mcfadden)

And all of these happens probabely because Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron man 3) is the co-writer of the screenplay. Unfortunately that’s where the resemblance ends and “The Nice Guys” becomes a parody of itself.

The movie has lots of short-comings:

  • The characters are introduced in a very brief manner and have zero chemistry.
  • The story line is rushed and illogical (Two main characters fight at first and then, without enough explanation, become buddies)
  • The screenplay includes unnecessary and unexplained plot points like:
    • Why it takes place in 1977?
    • Why the young boy at the beginning finds the dead body of the pornstar whose photo he’d just seen in a porn magazine?
    • Why the pornstar (Misty Mountain)’s car should crash into a house where a boy is seeing that pornstars photos? What are we supposed to get from this ironic/juxtapositional plot point?
    • Why is her name so unusual for a pornstar’s nickname (okay, “Misty” is understandable but “Mountain”?) and reminds us of The Hobbit franchise?
  • The traits of the characters are exaggerated and are not believable.
  • Every once in a while you’re introduced to new, unnecessary and totally out-of-place characters like:
    •  March’s daughter.
    • The boy on a bicycle that give info about Amelia’s boyfriend
    • March’s daughter’s friend who talks about not using Jesus name in vain
    • The boy from the hippy-ish protest
  • The tone of the movie is uncertain and switches repeatedly from comedy to serious and vice versa. Also, there are some comedic lines  jutted into the screenplay which are just miserable.


The newcomer Angourie Rice plays Holland March's daughter in the movie
The Australian newcomer  Angourie Rice plays Holland March’s daughter in the movie (Image via Warner Bros.)

I tried to watch the whole movie, but after a certain point, it became so irrelevant, illogical and cheesy that I had to stop.


The Nice Guys (2016) —– My rating: 5%

Directed by: Shane Black

Produced by: Joel Silver

Written by: Anthony Bagarozzi & Shane Black


Russell Crowe

Ryan Gosling

Angourie Rice

Matt Bomer

Margaret Qualley

Keith David

Kim Basinger

Released on May 20, 2016 in the U.S.



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