« on: August 20, 2016, 03:29:40 PM »
I just saw this. I'm a huge fan of "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", and I know a couple of other people on here (Barry? Scourge?) are as well. And I typically like Shane Black (I actually enjoyed Iron Man 3's non-superhero elements and think it would have been even better if they dropped the typical superhero stuff and focused more on Tony and the fake Mandarin, and didn't include the real Mandarin at all, but I digress.)
This movie certainly seems like a spiritual successor to "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." A buddy film/detective story set in L.A. which flips the roles of the leads. Ryan Gosling is the Robert Downey Jr. character, a funny character with plenty of vices and who's not very helpful in a fight, but who somehow manages to pull out a win when things look hopeless. Russell Crowe is the Val Kilmer character, the more physically formidable of the pair. Unlike KKBB, though, Gosling is the detective and Crowe is the quasi-outlaw.
The Nice Guys doesn't capture lightning in a bottle like KKBB. It's less than the sum of its parts. There are plenty of scenes that demonstrate Black's style of humor (unconventional heroes, quirky bad guys with a sense of humor, somewhat convoluted plots that make sense once you realize that the bad guys are often as clueless as the good guys), but the story never pans out. Gosling is great but is a bit TOO comical, a parody of RDJr's character in KKBB. Crowe isn't that great. He doesn't do justice to the humerous elements of the script and doesn't really have much of a personality. Amelia (Margaret Qualley), the girl they are looking for, is never really developed, and Kim Basinger is a dud as the mastermind villain. Keith David is wasted as a hitman.
KKBB was so good though that I will probably always check out whatever Shane Black does, simply because even if the overall movie isn't great, there will always be a handful of enjoyable scenes. And that pretty much sums up The Nice Guys.