A mismatched pair of private eyes investigates an apparent suicide in 1970s Los Angeles.
The Nice Guys are Healy and March, played by Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling respectively. The obvious warmth Crowe and Gosling have for each other has translated to the screen, with writer director Shane Black creating a first-rate, wise-cracking duo.
This is not the first time Black has created an unlikely pairing and pitted them against a powerful adversary for which they would, on paper, seem outmatched. Exactly 30 years ago, he sold his first script to producer Joel Silver — an actioner about a by-the-book detective reluctantly partnered with an unhinged cop named Riggs. That movie was Lethal Weapon… and the rest, as they say, is history. Following three Lethal Weapon sequels, Silver also produced The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, the latter of which marked Black’s directorial debut. After 10 years, they reunited again on The Nice Guys.
Joel Silver remarks, “I think Shane has a unique cinematic voice. His movies are not traditional comedies; they are action pictures with humour, which is a different aesthetic. They’re serious stories about hard-boiled, tough guys. There are comedic moments throughout the film, but the hard-edged action helps to make the humour work.”
Ryan Gosling is also a fan of the director’s work," Shane creates these worlds that have their own tone, slightly surreal but rooted in reality,” Gosling observes. “And his characters are heightened, but somehow you feel like you know them. On a fundamental level, The Nice Guys is a detective story, but Shane is able to subvert it. You think you’re going to go right, and he takes you left.”
Russell Crowe is in agreement with his co-star, “A good detective movie is always going to be complex. As it’s unfolding, you don’t really know what’s going on, and then, when you find out, all the parts of the journey have added up. Ultimately, you earn the right to get to the end of the story.”
"The script doesn’t take itself too seriously…I mean the characters do, but that’s what’s ridiculous about them,” Gosling laughs. “I think that’s also what makes you root for March and Healy, because they want to be, or are pretending to be, more than they are."
When he read the screenplay, Silver recalls, “It was a page turner; it had a tremendous pace to it. It was one of those scripts where you start reading it and, before you know it, you’re done. I knew it would give us an opportunity to take the audience on a wild ride, and that’s something Shane is really great at doing.”
We are big fans of the work of Shane Black and any fan of cinema will have seen a Joel Silver production over the past 30 years: just think of three of the most successful franchises for instance: the aforementioned Lethal Weapon, and also Die Hard and The Matrix. We were fortunate enough to meet the producer at the recent premiere of the film and his joy at teaming up with Shane Black was mirrored by his director. The pair have a chemistry.
“It felt good to be on a film with Joel again,” says Black. “He’s a high-energy force of nature in this business. He’s also a virtual encyclopaedia of movie history and all things cinematic, so listening to him is always fascinating and working with him is a privilege. Plus he has a knack for finding the same things intriguing in a movie as I do, and he respects the kinds of stories I like to tell. So I think Joel and I will continue to make movies together… I certainly hope so."
We thoroughly enjoyed The Nice Guys and without giving anything away we hope to see a sequel or at the very least Shane Black and Joel Silver teaming up again.
The Nice Guys opens at Showcase Cinemas June 3.