“ You are the world’s worst detective”
The hard-boiled movies or TV shows about detectives are not done too often these days. Growing up with movies like “Chinatown”, “L.A. Confidential”, and “Heat” a good detective yarn was always something to look forward to. Now the menu has changed, and to find the type of story you have to look a little harder, especially for a good one. Well enter Shane Black, who pretty much invented the buddy cop movie, he brings a detective story with the help of Anthony Bagarozzi that is actually really ‘nice’.
Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a private investigator that is not very good according to his daughter. The jobs he takes might make some question his morals, but hey everyone needs money. Holland’s current case has him looking for a girl named Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who doesn’t want to be found. So much so, Amelia hires Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) to persuade the people looking for her to give up. After Healy does his best to convince Holland to stop looking, he later actually hires Holland to help him find Amelia. While it seems like a simple missing person case it soon turns into much more, as bodies pile up and a tangled web of deceit is discovered as Healy and Holland start to uncover the truth. With the help of Holland’s daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) the nice guys try to finally come out on top.
If you are a fan of Shane Black, you know what he brings to the table. While Black does not disappoint as he also directs this film, the real joy is in the chemistry that Crowe and Gosling have from the get go. They’re very much a Abbott and Costello feel that goes so far as Gosling doing a perfect imitation upon finding a dead body. While you follow the clues you are entertained by both spoken and physical comedy, the later be delivered perfectly by Gosling. This movie just brings a smile your face as it has a feel of a film that one viewing wont be enough.
Black once again shows he knows how to write for a pair, as with “Kiss, Kiss Bang, Bang”, paring two actors who seem to have been in multiple movies together already, when it is only their first. I am a big fan of this movie, as it has the perfect “Shane Black” amount of action and slapstick that makes for a good ride. When that ride finally came to an end, I so enjoyed the nods to detective and comedic stories of the past, and the performances of both Gosling, Crowe, and Rice, who is a revelation in this film. I know you will have the same felling that I did, if you enjoy good movies, because after viewing this you could say that these ‘nice’ guys finish first.