By Sean Tuohy
Wild West gunplay, witty dialogue, a hard-boiled mystery good enough to make Raymond Chandler scratch his head, and Russell Crowe in bell-bottoms! These are just some of the things we have to look forward to look in script king Shane Black’s new film “The Nice Guys.”
Set in 1970s Los Angeles, a down and out P.I. (Ryan Gosling) and an enforcer (Crowe) team up to find a missing woman who caught in the middle of a conspiracy. The Red Band trailer showcases Black’s poppy banter, cynic tough guys, and heart-pounding action. Penned back in 2003, “The Nice Guys” is a well-known script among script hounds and the project has gone through several changes (at one point it was planned to be filmed as a television show instead of a feature). However, we finally get to see the film on the big screen!
After watching the trailer 19 times in less than an hour and rereading the script at an equally feverish speed, it’s easy to see that “The Nice Guys” is going to become a masterpiece.
Shane Black writes some of the best back and forth banter between characters. It’s lightning fast, but easy to keep up with (unlike Aaron Sorkin’s solid dialogue, Black’s never goes over the audience's head). The dialogue in a Black film, and this movie in particular it seems, is tough and spoken with a rough edge.
The characters in “The Nice Guys” are broke, cynic, burnt out, and about ready to give up on life completely. However, they appear to have one good fight left in them.
Black’s characters are human; they are filled with fear and self-doubt but they are always able to pull off superhuman feats. Gosling’s P.I. is a troubled man who is awful at his job and has a daughter who doesn’t like him. Despite everything stacked against him, we want to root for him. Black tends to creates characters you should dislike but fall in love with in the end.
Throughout the trailer viewers are treated to gruesome violent images, but we can’t help but laugh the whole time. Black performs an incredible balancing act between violence and humor that never feels forced or unnecessary.
The movie comes out May 20, 2016.