FlixChatter Review: THE NICE GUYS (2016)

Ted_review

niceguysbanner

Almost 30 years ago Shane Black made a name for himself when he wrote the buddy cop action comedy hit Lethal Weapon. He instantly became one of the most sought-after writers in Hollywood and one of the highest paid too. But when a couple of the big action films he wrote (The Last Action Hero and The Long Kiss Goodnight) tanked at the box office, his career stalled for a few years. After the big success of Iron Man 3, he’s now back on the good graces of Hollywood executives.

NiceGuys_photo1

Set in 1977, a private eye named Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is hired by a young woman named Amelia (Margaret Qualley) to get some goons off her back. One of the goons happens to be another private eye named Holland March (Ryan Gosling). March is sort of a multi-tasking investigator, along with stalking on Amelia; he’s also investigating the death of a porn star. This porn star’s death led the two private eyes to believe it has something to do with Amelia but before they could talk to her, she disappeared.

NiceGuys_photo4

With the help of March’s precocious young daughter Holly (Angourie Rice), the dual set out to find Amelia and got involved in deep conspiracy involving some powerful people. That includes Amelia’s mom Judith (Kim Basinger) and a ruthless hit man named John Boy (Matt Bomer). Those wondering about Crowe & Basinger’s reunion since L.A. Confidential, well Basinger has only got about 5 minutes of screen time here. Sadly she has become one of those actresses whose roles keep getting smaller as they get older, it’s unfortunate because she’s good actress.

NiceGuys_photo2

I enjoyed the script by Black and co-writer Anthony Bagarozzi, the dialog is witty. Even though the plot were kind of predictable, it’s still fun seeing things unfold as I predicted. Fans of Black’s other films such as Lethal Weapon and The Last Boys Scout will be pleased with all the f-bombs and shootouts. Black kept the tone of the film very light, though people are getting shot, beat up and every character loves to drop the f-bombs. The film definitely has the feel of a 70s flick. I also enjoy the beautiful cinematography by Philippe Rousselot, he really captured the look and feel of L.A. in the 70s.

NiceGuys_photo3

The performances by the two leads were quite good and their chemistry worked well together. Crowe gained some weight to play this out of shape but tough private eye. He beats and shoots people without hesitation. I wasn’t sure if Gosling can do comedy but he’s very funny as the bumbling and cowardly private eye. I’m glad they didn’t make his character into some kind of an action hero, he’s a weak man but very resourceful.

Despite my high praises, I still think it’s an average film. It’s an entertaining action comedy, just not a great one like I thought it’s going to be. If you’re fans of 70s flicks, buddy cop action comedy or the two lead actors, then I think you’ll enjoy this film.

3Reels

TedSPic


Have you seen ‘The Nice Guys’? Well, what did you think?

Random Thoughts: Sam Worthington’s Five Fave Flicks

My go-to review site RottenTomatoes.com has a regular feature where random movie actors/directors list their five favorite movies and why. Earlier this month, it featured AVATAR’s star Sam Worthington’s Five Favorite Films. Please note these are his favorites, not his ‘best films’ list:

  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989, 82% Tomatometer)
    Lethal Weapon 2
    — because that’s the movie where I thought, ‘If those guys are doing that and getting paid for it, I want in.’ [laughs]
  • Mad Max 2, aka The Road Warrior (1981, 100% Tomatometer)
    Mad Max 2
    , along with The Year of Living Dangerously. As far as I’m concerned that was a time of filmmaking in Australia when we were excelling. And I can watch Mad Max 2 over and over again.
  • The Year of Living Dangerously (1983, 96% Tomatometer)
    And The Year of Living Dangerously, I love it because it’s an Australian movie not set in Australia.
  • Beverly Hills Cop (1984, 83% Tomatometer)
    Beverly Hills Cop
    , ’cause I think it’s Eddie Murphy at his finest. You know, we think of Norbit and things like that nowadays… but go watch Beverly Hills Cop to see the man in top form.
  • Die Hard (1988, 94% Tomatometer)
    Die Hard
    is the best action movie ever. [laughs] Nailed them out, didn’t I?

He’s obviously got a thing for action flicks… and Mel Gibson! Granted it’s quite a personal list, with three out of five being Aussie-related, but I guess now we know why he can rock out those action-hero roles, as that’s what he seems to gravitate towards.

It’s cool that he mentioned The Year of Living Dangerously. The title is a quote which refers to a famous Italian phrase used by former Indonesian President Sukarno; vivere pericoloso, meaning “living dangerously” that he borrowed for the country’s Independence Day speech in 1964. I sheepishly admit I haven’t seen the entire movie, but having grown up in Jakarta during the Suharto era, this movie hits close to home for me. Per Wikipedia, the story is about a love affair set in Indonesia during the overthrow of President Sukarno in 1965. It follows a group of foreign correspondents (including Gibson’s character, Aussie journalist Guy Hamilton) in the nation’s capital Jakarta on the eve of an attempted coup by the so-called 30 September Movement by military-led vigilante groups that killed hundreds of thousands. It wasn’t shot on location however, as the Indonesian (read: dictatorial Suharto’s) government wouldn’t allow it, so filming took place in Manila, Philippines. Not surprisingly, the movie was banned in Indonesia until 1999, and at last screened in the country during the Jakarta International Film Festival in 2000. This Peter Weir’s movie featured young Mel Gibson at his best (not to mention hottest), and interestingly enough his love interest was Sigourney Weaver (as Jill Bryant, a British Embassy officer), who later became Worthington’s co-star in Avatar. Linda Hunt won Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Billy Kwan, Gibson’s character’s best friend, becoming the first person to win an Oscar for playing a character of the opposite sex (according to Wikipedia).

Back to Worthington, well, based on this list, and the projects he’s got going so far, I’m hopeful this guy won’t do any insipid rom-com any time soon! It’d be cool to see him in an action comedy a la Beverly Hills Cop or the Lethal Weapon franchise. He looks like someone versatile enough to be both bad-ass AND funny, something even talented actor like Christian Bale couldn’t quite master. I mean, you could say American Psycho was a dark (VERY dark) satire and some scenes are quite funny (albeit in a deranged kind of way), but I’ve never seen Bale do a light-hearted comedy, action or otherwise. People have labeled Sam the next action star, but I’d say he could be more than that. Perhaps he’s looking to mimic his favorite actor’s career, as Mel Gibson can balance both intense thrillers/action-pack roles with dramatic and comedic ones, not to mention his achievements as a director.

Just an additional trivia: Worthington came thisclose to becoming James Bond as he was a runner-up for Daniel Craig. He revealed to CommanderBond.net that “[The Bond people] had seen my tapes and wanted to make Bond younger, like Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity.” I’d say he’d make a smashing Bond, but I’m glad he didn’t get the role as I’d rather not see him get typecast.

I have high hopes for this Aussie. Now that I think about it, lots of my fave actors are Aussies… hmmm, I feel a list of hottest Aussie actors coming on. Stay tuned for that, folks! 🙂