‘The Nice Guys’ Sees Russell Crowe Giving Up The Fight And Leaving The Ruggedness To Ryan Gosling, And It Works

Stacey Cole - Author

Jun. 12 2016, Updated 6:42 a.m. ET

The Nice Guys is much more than a typical movie in the comedy genre. In a surprising twist, the movie turns out to be as violent as it is amusing. The Shane Black-directed movie stars Ryan Gosling, who plays the role of Holland March, a private investigator. Russell Crowe features alongside Gosling and plays the character of Jackson Healy, a hired enforcer.

The New Statesman reports that The Nice Guys could very well be the film that makes Russell Crowe “an interesting actor” again. Referring to what has been a “career slump” for Russell Crowe, the article argues that in The Nice Guys, Crowe has allowed himself to go “slightly to seed,” and to leave the handsome, manly, rugged role to Ryan Gosling.

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“Nothing exhausts a star like having an image to maintain, and in The Nice Guys, Crowe lets it all hang out for once… He may still be rough-housing the baddies in The Nice Guys but in another sense, he’s given up the fight. This may be the point at which he starts becoming an interesting actor again.”

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The film is set in 1977 Los Angeles and the plot allows a lot of brutal violence interspersed with witty comedic lines, most of which come from Ryan Gosling’s character. As a character, Holland March is shown to be neither suave nor stylish. According to Slate, the private investigator, whose career has hit rock bottom, is portrayed as a pathetic professional who is alcoholic and out of luck.

He is portrayed as an irresponsible father who makes a living by solving dead end cases brought up by elderly women. The intoxicated Holland is unaware of his own messy state and is shown to comically fumble for a gun and hallucinate about human-sized bees. It takes Russell Crowe’s silver-tongued and effective Jackson Healy to intervene to solve the convoluted mystery that forms the core of The Nice Guys‘ plotline.

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And even though Russell Crowe’s character in the movie is pretty straightforward, the duo has a nice chemistry between them that, unfortunately, is at times drowned out by seemingly non-stop carnage, which some have commented seems excessive at some points. The Canberra Times reports that critics have appreciated the tuning between Russell Crowe’s thug-for-hire and Ryan Gosling’s hung-up, drunken detective, who manage to effectively work together to track down a young woman who is connected to the death of a porn star.

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The movie shows that modern cinema does not always require a superhero ensemble cast to produce a successful action-comedy. In fact, the classic dynamic duo casting can prove to be equally effective. Additionally, it is always a pleasure to see two great actors deliver superb performances in style.

According to Cinema Blend, who listed ten iconic moments in the film that kept audiences laughing even after they’d left the cinema, The Nice Guys is one of the funniest movies to be shown in theaters this year.

Enthusiastic movie-goers must give it a try before X-Men Apocalypse hits the theaters. Director Shane Black has done a good job of introducing humorous moments in the movie that make the film even more comical. A misinterpreted clue, Holland’s Hitler jokes, Jackson’s marriage jokes, the worst break-in ever, a shootout at Holland’s rental, fake guns and real gravity all had the audiences in stitches.

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Forbes reports that the film grossed $11.3 million in its opening week and it finished fourth after Angry Birds ($39 million), Captain America: Civil War ($33.1 million) and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising ($21.8 million).

According to Forbes, The Nice Guys was targeted to older audiences, specifically aimed at males over 35-years-old.

It seems that Shane Black prepared the movie’s script to avoid clashing with Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising that gravitated more towards teenagers. However, despite their best efforts, it turned out that The Nice Guys became an instant hit amongst males below 35-years-old, too. In fact, The Nice Guys and Neighbors 2 cannibalized each other to such an extent that they affected each other’s box-office results.

The magical combination of older actors Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling working under the direction of Shane Black certainly made people assume that the film would appeal to older audiences. It just goes to show that classic actors are still capable of appealing to all generations of movie-goers.

[Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images]


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