Thursday, December 22, 2016

3 Short Paragraphs: The Nice Guys

2016, Shane Black (Iron Man 3) -- download

Yes, I am of that age now. That age where we spread, where we look in the mirror and see someone else looking back. Someone softer, rounder and probably more grey. Yet we are still in there, somewhere. Russell Crowe seems  well adapted to his current state and it's not a Hollywood thing; he won't be burning off those pints anytime soon. That is his image now, the guy who was Hando in Romper Stomper, who was the villain in the blue suit in Virtuosity, who was The Gladiator.  But now, over 50, he has taken on that middle-aged place in roles; he will now forever be the other guy to Ryan Gosling's leading man. But rest assured Ryan will someday be that that guy; not everyone can be Liam Neeson.

In this movie Crowe is a slab of meat, a tough guy who does not-nice stuff to people who usually deserve it, an enforcer for hire. Ryan Gosling is a not-nice detective more likely to do a bad job and stiff people, much to the chagrin of his doting daughter. Of course, Gosling deserves whatever sends Crowe after him, but its a 70s noir flick, so they end up investigating a mystery together. Misty Mountains, the porn star, has been killed and there is a convoluted plot behind it. In noir, there always is, especially LA noir.

This is Shane Black, so of course, the movie is light and quippy. Crowe and Gosling are great together who despite being dicks, end up being the two working together to do the right thing. Its not a complicated plot idea, the assholes end up being the nicest of the bunch, but it Black has the knack of making it subtle. Ever since I saw Russell Crowe in that episode of Republic of Doyle I have been waiting for him to replay that aging, spreading detective. This is basically it. I could almost go as far as saying Crowe was always going to end up in this kind of role, that this is what he really was made to be.

Poster is from MondoTees.