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The Nice Guys: These guys don't always finish last

By Damon Smith

Published 23/09/2016

Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling)
Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling)

Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hired heavy, who beats up perverts and stalkers with his knuckleduster. A young woman called Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley) pays him to scare off low-rent private detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling), who has been asking for her around town.

The first meeting of these two men ends in bloodshed and broken bones, but Jackson and Holland reluctantly agree to work together when Amelia subsequently vanishes.

The Nice Guys is a hare-brained missing person's caper set in sexually liberated 1977 Los Angeles, which doesn't quite soar to the dizzy heights of writer-director Shane Black's previous escapades, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He comes close though, retaining an enviable ability to conjure jaw-dropping one-liners out of nowhere.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph

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