★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki
"I think I'm invincible. I don't think I can die!" That's a hilarious quote from Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys, one of the best comedies of the century, & one of the best films of the year so far. Gosling plays Holland March, an alcoholic private investigator with a young daughter, Holly (played by Angourie Rice). March seems to be down on his luck lately, namely being asked to by an elderly woman to find her husband, although an urn with his name is on the mantelpiece. March is also trying to find a girl named Amelia (played by Margaret Qualley), after being hired by a woman to find her niece, porn actress Misty Mountains (played by Murielle Telio), after noticing her a few days prior. However, she really saw Amelia, because Misty died in a mysterious car crash (crashing into a house after driving down a hill). Problem is, Amelia doesn't want to be found, so she hires enforcer Jackson Healy (played by Russell Crowe) to find March & tell him to stop looking for her. So Healy goes & finds March & breaks his arm. Healy is then approached by two men, an Older Guy (played by Keith David) & Blueface (played by Beau Knapp), who are also trying to find Amelia. They escape after being sprayed with blue dye. Healy & March meet again & decide to work together to find Amelia, eventually finding themselves in a web of lies, deceit, porn, the Mafia, pollution, & "experimental filmmaking."
This was a comedic tour-de-force. Russell Crowe & Ryan Gosling were excellent, & their chemistry is undeniably terrific. But the greatest performance of all was by Angourie Rice, who was spell-binding here, portraying well beyond her years. The direction from Shane Black was great, directing another great film after 2013's Iron Man 3 & his 2005 masterpiece Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The screenplay from Black & Anthony Bagarozzi was brilliant. And the soundtrack is one of the best of the century. Although it does fall slightly below Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it still is a brilliant film. I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a better comedy this year. It definitely reached comedic greatness.