Saturday, May 21, 2016
Nice Guys 
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review
RogerEbert.com (B. Tallerico) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review
Nice Guys  (directed and cowritten by Shane Black along with Anthony Bagarozzi) proved to me to be a mess.
While the characters themselves are well-drawn, the core of film's problems is the story:
Set in the late 1970s in Los Angeles, all kinds of people associated with a seemingly random two-bit / "indie" porn flick are being killed for a Chinatown -esque conspiratorial reason (so far so good ...) 'cept that _the violence_ in the story gets progressively so ratcheted-up that by film's end it's just absurd. The film's climactic no holds barred shootout at a 1970s era Los Angeles Convention (if it had actually happened) would have been the equivalent of the Black September attack on the 1972 Munich Olympic Games or, frankly, 9/11, something that both _couldn't_ and _wouldn't_ be "hushed-up." So call the film the "Jurassic World  of crime stories" where even _a good / compelling premise_ has to be amped-up to absurd heights.
And it's a shame because the actors -- Russell Crowe / Ryan Gosling (playing an odd-couple pair of Private Eyes, one with a license, the other kinda "über-ing" it), Angurie Rice (playing Gosling's character's precocious 13-year-old daughter, who finds herself "growing up really fast" by _repeatedly_ "seeing things" that really _no_ thirteen year old should ever have to see), Margaret Qualley (playing a Patty Hearst meets Lyndsey Lohan-like character named Amelia who comes to be at the center of the initially quite well-spun story. She could have really had a conscience, or she could have just been out to embarrass her mother (played by Kim Basinger) a high powered U.S. District Judge) -- deserved better. Sigh ...
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