The Nice Guys was a highly rated (7.9 on IMDB and 70 with Metacritic) movie starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. I was expecting an entertaining movie in the spirit of Lethal Weapon or 48 Hours , but what I saw was more to the tune of Dumb and Dumber. Dumb was a fat, misshapen and bleary-eyed Russell Crowe, who teamed with a failed drunk of a private detective, Ryan Gosling.
Preposterous plots can almost always be forgiven when augmented by great acting and crisp and witty dialogue, but this film had no such bones, and that made for a long afternoon watching this movie. The Nice Guys tried to pack too much into too little and the result was a meandering and maddeningly unfunny mess that mercifully ended after what seemed like hours. The plot was that these two hapless gumshoes were hired to investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star, Misty Rivers, and the disappearance of a political activist (and possible porn star) Amelia, whose mother headed The Justice Department. This mother also is possibly involved in a massive cover-up by the big 3 Automakers. Had enough? Then there was in inexplicable back story involving Holland March’s (Gosling) lack of a sense of smell resulting in him ignoring a gas leak and having the family house burn down. This very bizarre twist somehow solved the mystery of March’s bratty 13 year-old kid sitting in a vacant lot, reading a book by flashlight.
The movie was a seemingly infinite series of failed jokes, Jackson Healy beating people senseless and getting beat senseless, again March’s unhappy teen-aged daughter and the mysterious and elusive Amelia. The movie slogged forward, with increasing violence, more non-hilarity and the two inept P.I.s saving the day. I don’t know what was more silly and gratuitous, the needless smashing of vintage automobiles, the exploding cases of Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink, or the tasteless exploitation of adolescents and pre-adolescents who glibly talked about rim jobs and/or the size of their penises.
I haven’t walked out on a movie since I started reviewing them, and never will, but I was counting the moments for this masterpiece to be over. My advice? Avoid. How this mess got so many good reviews is totally beyond my scope of comprehension. Rex Reed (I didn’t even know he was still alive) gave it a big fat ZERO. I concur.
Special Ruthless Ratings:
- “Oh, come on, there has to be quotes or something!”
- O.K. Quotable Quotes: “You guys want to see my dick?” -Ten year old punk on bike
- “Never mind”