The Nice Guys

tn_niceguysHolland March (Ryan Gosling, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues) is an alcoholic widower single father bottom-feeding private eye hired by an old lady (Lois Smith, KILLSHOT) for a case that has him following a young woman named Amelia (Margaret Qualley, PALO ALTO). Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe, NO WAY BACK) is a divorced thug hired by Amelia to beat up the people following her, i.e. March. When some other guys (Beau Knapp, the great Keith David) attack Healy at his apartment asking for Amelia he decides to go back to March and hire him to help find Amelia and ask her what’s going on. So by trying to cut down on getting beat up this unlikely pair gets gummed up in a case involving a dead porn star and a corporate collusion conspiracy.

Of the two, the detective seems like the dumb one. But he has good luck and a smart daughter, 13-year-old Holly (Angourie Rice, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D) who nancy drews him through the mystery. March is also a total coward who screams like a little girl and gives up information at the slightest threat. Healy behaves much more professionally, though he still does stupid shit like forget his brass knuckles at home when he goes to beat somebody up. And then it’s too late to drive back and get them.

That’s because this is the latest from Shane Black, as both director and writer (with Anthony Bagarozzi), so it’s a twisty, complex mystery, a serious detective story but with frequent laughs from characters doing the wrong thing or the weird thing or saying what you’re not supposed to say. Goofing on tropes but also respecting their usefulness.

We have all of Black’s obsessions here: Los Angeles, washed up alcoholic and/or divorced detectives, quips and one-liners, first person narration, precocious children who say inappropriate things, scuffles at mansion parties, weirdo henchmen, even a tiny bit of Christmas since it’s late November and there’s some holiday music and decoration in a bar. This time he gets to use a backdrop of late ’70s L.A., with lots of cool visual details like billboards for JAWS 2 and SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, the Sunset Strip Tower Records, and particular love for The Comedy Store, which Healy lives above. The marquee lists Tim Allen, Elaine Boosler, Richard Lewis and others, and I believe a stand-up who we only see from behind is supposed to be a young Charles Fleischer. There’s also a big porn star party with a facsimile Earth Wind and Fire performing. Healy and March strolling through history. FORREST GUMP, eat your heart out.

mp_niceguysThough overall similar in tone to KISS KISS BANG BANG, Black goes a little broader for some jokes than in the rest of his filmography. Mostly it works. There are some weird hallucinations, and a great background gag about fully clothed March swimming through a tank to talk to some mermaids.

Of all the Black motifs I mentioned, I think the one he pushes the furthest is the precocious kids. After THE MONSTER SQUAD they’ve been supporting characters liked the foul-mouthed daughter in THE LAST BOY SCOUT and, more prominently, stranded Tony Stark’s young inventor buddy in IRON MAN THREE. Mop-headed Ty Simpkins also cameos here as a kid enjoying a porno mag, but young Holly March is a full-on co-lead, stubbornly stowing away with the adults and helping them solve the mystery. This is a cliche of silly kids’ movies (stay tuned for AMERICAN NINJA 5), but feels slightly subversive in a violent R-rated action movie like this. She acts as designated driver, hangs out with porn stars at a boozy party, is involved in the climactic battle and even aims a gun at someone (though she’s against violence and stops the grown ups from killing a few people).

The child endangerment also extends to her friend getting picked up by a hitman (Matt Bomer from the MAGIC MIKE movies, who made the young women in the audience gasp even playing a creepo) and thrown through a window. It’s usually taboo to show things like that supposedly happening to kids. The only better one I could think of was the classic scene of the kid rolling off the roof in AVENGING FORCE.


In a way the daughter acts as mom and the dad as son. March and Healy are childlike in many ways. They try to be responsible and keep Holly out of danger, but they have zero follow through, and quickly give in and let her do what she wants. When she follows them to the party her dad doesn’t drive her home, he just puts her in a cab. When Healy discovers her still at the party (and watching hardcore pornography) he tells her she’s not supposed to be there, but exerts no further effort to get her to safety. Hey, I tried, he must figure.

In a way I think this is a more successful LAST BOY SCOUT. Don’t get me wrong, I really dig that one, but this is a similar sort of burnt out dirtbag private eye bickering buddy team vs. dangerous hitmen working for corporate conspiracy movie that feels like a more solid mystery story and consistent tone. It’s what happens when you keep Black in charge and don’t get a bunch of people butting heads about what to do with his script. Also, this is a version that has very flawed heroes but doesn’t make them so despicable that they declare a hatred of funk, rap and Prince. That was going too far, Hallenbeck. Luckily our society has progressed beyond that type of thing.

There’s enough shootouts and beat downs to call it an action movie, but they’re more in the crime movie tradition of explosions of mayhem than in the DIE HARD cool-action-scene vein. People are running around trying not to get shot, getting banged around, falling off of things, through windows. Our heroes seem to get away with minimal injury/death but it feels like it was more dumb luck than skill. The violence always feels messy, dangerous, stupid. Totally innocent bystanders get shot, including by the good guys if I’m not mistaken. But it plays more like a grim joke about life than a serious bummer.

And maybe there’s a tiny bit of something going on beneath the surface. It has an interesting theme of using low art to get across important messages, which is not really something I associate with Black’s filmography, but come to think of it he (I think, depending on how much he was rewritten) made racist South Africans the villains in LETHAL WEAPON 2 during the fight to end apartheid. (While AMERICAN NINJA 3 was filming there.) THE NICE GUYS has a pretty pessimistic world view, that the bad guys always win, even when the good guys win, but it also argues that you gotta keep fighting the good fight. Save the girl. Show people the porno. Do what you can.

The movie’s greatest strength, besides the script I suppose, is this team of Gosling and Crowe, both being showcased brilliantly in roles that are different from what they’re known for. Gosling, after elevating his career with these stoic, posturing characters like in DRIVE, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES and ONLY GOD FORGIVES, turns out to also be just as good as a whiny, jibber-jabbering slapstick idiot who sometimes thinks he’s a cool guy. And Crowe I suppose has played many variations on the cynical bruiser, but I haven’t seen him play a character so natural for what mean people call the “fat Russell Crowe” part of his career. His current size is perfect for his occupation; that we remember him thinner is perfect for the wanting-more/questioning-his-decisions stage of life he’s in. When he first meets March, beating him up at his home, he asks something like “You can afford a nice place like this on a private eye salary?” March thinks he’s questioning the veractiy of his story, but I think he’s considering whether that would be a better line of work for him.

The movie doesn’t seem to be a hit, and since most people have traded renting or buying movies on video for squirting “content” from Netflix, I think we’ve left behind the world where a FRIDAY or an AUSTIN POWERS or something would do nothing in theaters but catch on huge on video and get a bunch of sequels. Too bad, because it seems like they’re a team who would go on to have many other cases, and I’d love to see those.

Well, who knows? Maybe we’ll get a quickly-cancelled TV show with Val Kilmer and Cam Gigandet. Or a porn version. If not we still have THE NICE GUYS. That’s more than we would’ve expected after THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT when Black disappeared off the map for 9 years. The bad guys keep winning, but I’m glad he still takes the case.


Hey, check it out: Hard Case Crime founder Charles Ardai wrote and published a novelization of THE NICE GUYS. I’m planning to get it so I’ll let you know what I think.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2016 at 11:45 am and is filed under Action, Mystery, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

92 Responses to “The Nice Guys”

  1. As this sight’s/possibly the world’s preeminent Shane Black fan, I had sky-high expectations for this one, which meant that I was left slightly underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but it didn’t give me that high of seeing something that I wasn’t even aware was exactly what I wanted and needed out of a movie, like KISS KISS and even IRON MAN 3. I don’t know, maybe it just didn’t go far enough. Most of the wackier gags and situations were given away in the trailer. It’s growing on me the more I think about it, but this is the first movie made from a Black script that didn’t immediately blow me away. It felt, I don’t know, kinda normal. I bet it’ll get better the second time, though, when my expectations are recalibrated.

    Of course, none of that stopped me from buying the novelization the second I learned of its existence. I love Shane Black. I love detective novels. I love cheesy movie novelizations. And I love Hard Case Crime. This was a no-brainer purchase for me. I’d have bought it if I hated the fucking movie.

    Oh, and I thought there was a theme running throughout the film that was surprisingly hopeful. The characters are always complaining about how the world is going to hell. March worries about his kid growing up too fast. The hippies worry about the smog and how it effects the birds. Kim Basinger wages a crusade against porn and declares that Detroit will never allow the catalytic convertor to happen. Well, guess what? It’s almost 40 years later, and people who grew up too fast in the 70s are worried about their kids growing up too fast in the modern day. Porn is about a billion times more rampant than even the most scaremongering religious group ever would have dreamed, and yet we’re not all sex maniacs. Smog isn’t as big a problem as it used to be, because the catalytic convertor did happen, and there wasn’t a fucking thing Detroit could do about it. There are still birds. (Not so many bees, though.) We live in a time when prognostications of the apocalypse are an everyday occurrence. And with good reason. We have a lot of fucking problems. But people thought the end was nigh 40 years ago, and it still hasn’t happened yet, and part of the reason why is that well-intentioned fools like Healy and March keep fighting impossible battles that occasionally end up being not so impossible. So for all the cynicism in Black’s work, I think there’s always that tiny ray of hope. Ol’ Satan Claus is out there, for sure, and all we can do is be prepared. And if we’re not, well, we can always wing it. It’s worked so far.

  2. Since the day the first trailer was released, this was my most anticipated movie of 2016, and I didn’t feel the slightest bit let down by it. I laughed my ass off throughout. OK, the giant bee was kind of pointless, and totally out of place, but it wasn’t around for too long. And I thought the occasional totally innocent bystanders getting shot was a gag almost worthy of Monty Python. And Keith David got a death I can’t believe they let stay in the final movie. This thing was rated R for real. A+, would do business with again (like, when it comes out on Blu-Ray).

  3. Really loved this one. I was the youngest one at my screening with most of the older audience groaning at the violence and language. Some left after the opening showed boobs (spoiler).

    I really love Crowe playing these surly beat up character so chalk me in for ‘fat’ Crowe is the best Crowe. Also kudos for casting Keith David as one of the heavies. He doesn’t get much to do but by the fact that it is David, makes the character that much more memorable.

    Anyways, second funniest movie I’ve seen this year after The Mermaid. Shame it may go the same way as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and only be remembered and appreciated by movie buffs/Shane Black fans like us. I blame video games, superhero movies, and I guess rap for this because something, something making kids dumb and not interested in seeing movies I like/want to see.

  4. The giant bee was a killer bee, which also supports my thesis. People used to think killer bees were a big fucking problem. Now we’re lucky to have any bees at all.

  5. Mr. M:

    I agree the trailer(s) gave WAY too much away. I’m usually not one to comment on such things as spoilers and overly-detailed trailers (trailers that tell the movie’s beginning, middle, and end kind of make me laugh) but damn just about every surprise and out-of-nowhere weird gag were in them. Didn’t keep me from loving obviously but I wonder if I could have loved it even more if Warner Bros. Marketing didn’t feel to be like that one friend/family member who REALLY wants you to see this movie they like and proceed to tell you the whole plot, all the jokes, and even the end.

  6. I loved this one. I thought Gosling and Crowe had the best chemistry I’ve seen in a long time. Both were exceptionally cast and just shined.

    I didn’t think March was dumb so much as lazy and jaded. I think if he gave a true effort he’d most likely be a really good detective.

    I guess I didn’t pay very close attention to the previews, because I didn’t feel like everything was given away. I just got Shane Black, 1970s, Gosling and Crowe and that was all I needed to be there opening night.

    Majestyk – I also got that optimistic feel. It was fun to have it in the 1970s, but it wasn’t viewed through rose colored glasses. The multiple shots of the smog laden horizon made you realize that some things do get better.

  7. The Lethal Weapon films were love letters to The Three Stooges. This one was a love letter to Abbott and Costello and the Bowery Boys. I loved the way Gosling went into full-on Lou Costello mode when he was scared and his constant malapropisms (“Munich”) were very much like Leo Gorcey. I loved it. It’s my favorite movie of the year so far. The thing that makes it great was Gosling revealing himself to be a gifted physical comedian. The bathroom stall scene in particular had me laughing like a damned fool.

  8. I refuse to read this review until I have actually seen it. As Mr Majestyk already laid claim on this sites resident number oneShane Black fan (self-appointed asshole…. ), I will have to wait when it hits Swedish cinema. Pretty soon I will have a judgment on this highly awaited piece of cinema.

  9. It’s impossible to NOT think of Lou Costello when Gosling is reacting to the dead body.

  10. This was an absolute joy to watch in the theater. The crowd I saw it with was really into it, which of course heightened my enjoyment. I agree that they gave away a bit too much with the trailer, but even the stuff we saw in the previews are better in context. The bathroom scene for instance has several more levels to it. 2016 is turning into a great year for small to mid sized genre movies. There’s this, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Midnight Special, and Green Room. I want more films like these, please.

  11. I saw it in a nearly empty theater, which might have led to some of my slight underwhelmtion. There were maybe four other people in there, one of whom was this guy who seems to go to all the same matinees I do. I call him The Quacker, because he spends the whole movie releasing soft grunts and quacks every 40 seconds or so. With a crowd, that kind of thing gets swallowed up. In an empty theater, you spend half the movie waiting for the next quack to drop. That’s not exactly the kind of raucous atmosphere that can help you get swept up in a movie like this. I eagerly await Blu-ray, when I can start really savoring the movie’s many layers and textures.

    I would like to add that I thought it was really cool that Mr. Chatty Kathy himself decided to open his talkiest movie yet with a scene of old-fashioned silent filmatism. The images in that first scene (an adolescent boy sneaking out of bed at night, the pilfered porno mag, the cozy domesticity of home destroyed in an instant by Detroit steel, the fetishized object of desire now broken and pitiful in the Hollywood Hills) were so loaded with so many overlapping primal elements (sex, death, violence, youth, cars, misogyny, guilt, and the tiniest hint of shamed chivalry) that it’s probably the best pure cinema Black has achieved yet.

    You know what you guys this movie is pretty good in my opinion.

  12. I love the motif Black uses of the main characters teetering on the verge of being outdated. In the first Lethal Weapon Riggs and Mutaugh were vets adjusting to peace time through police work. Joe Hallenback as Vern mentions hates rap and listens to Pat Boone and Jimmy Dix was a football player past his prime in Last Boy Scout. March and Healy still have one foot in the door in the old ’50s tradition of private dicks and hired muscle and both professions were past their heyday. The way they react to each other, not to mention their fast approaching expiration date is the what makes them so endearing.

  13. Well, shit, that comparison to Lou Costello is brilliant. I can’t believe I didn’t see it when he discovered the body.

  14. Well, Vern, I did my part and saw it on Saturday. Not even a matinee, a full price night showing. Holy Cats, what a revelation Gosling was as a physical comedian. As a longtime Abbott & Costello fan, his reaction to the corpse slayed me. (Maggie, it didn’t occur to me until later, coz right after it happened 18 other crazy awesome things happened. I knew it was a familiar beat but I couldn’t place it until I read Devin’s review over at BirthMoviesDeath. So you’re forgiven.) I woulda loved this movie if it was just Gosling solving the case by himself. The chemistry he had with Crowe was just icing on the cake “Stop saying that.” “I WANT to stop saying that!” I disagree that this was better than LAST BOY SCOUT, but that’s because it’s my #2 Bruce Willis movie, most likely. This one doesn’t hit the heights of KKBB, but it could never do that anyway, and it’s trying to reach a broader audience, so I get it. It’s a shame it doesn’t seem to be connecting, tho, as Shane Black is my favorite living screenwriter and it has Keith motherloving David in it.

  15. Jack

    Don’t forget to go along with the 50’s tradition, they are both introduced with their own narrations ruminating on both themselves and the city.

  16. Good call, geoffreyjar.

    Also, in addition to Abbott and Costello, The Nice Guys has a Laurel and Hardy vibe going on too. Crowe’s delivery of “A detective that can’t smell?” had a very Oliver Hardy feel to it and some of Gosling’s pratfalls were similar to Stan Laurel.

  17. To give you guys a little inside baseball, Black and Joel Silver were going around to screenings basically begging people to talk about the movie. But press who saw it weeks early were embargoed by the studio until the week of release. They also had a junket where many reporters would have loved to interview Black and Silver, but because Crowe and Gosling were there they limited the number of press who could interview even the filmmakers.

    Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. Maybe people really just want to see superhero movies. But we’ll never know because this wasn’t really given a chance to compete in the press.

  18. Another interesting Black connection: John Boy grabbing Holly during the stand-off on the roof, a’la LAST ACTION HERO. I always wondered what Black contributed to that script – just assumed it was all the good lines and the bits with the villains doing sinister/doofusy shit at the same time. But after seeing NICE GUYS, I realize he’s actually really good providing the ol’ pathos: he could totally have been the one to add a serious moment (Jack Slater losing his son at the end of whichever sequel that was supposed to be) to an overall goofy movie. Sort of like making Holly a stronger version of Danielle Harris’ character from LAST BOY SCOUT, it feels like Black revisiting his old scripts but doing them his way.

    I loved the movie, unequivocally. Had a smile on my face from beginning to end. I wish it had made more money so Black could do another, non-PREDATOR one post haste. Looking forward to checking out the novelization.

    Another famous “holy shit child endangerment!” moment: the ice cream truck in ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13.

  19. Just finished the novelization, and it’s a fun read. Some of the attempts to fill in the backstory of secondary characters is a bit of a reach, and not all of the more banter-y or slapstick-y elements of the film come off on the page, but it’s a fast-moving, unpretentious little detective novel. I read about 30 of those a year and I declare this one worthwhile, with or without the movie attached.

  20. Loved the movie. Wish it had been a nice little earner and we could have got another one set in the 80s, but oh well.

    It really seems like the future for movies like this will be limited releases followed by a well-promoted tenure on one of the streaming services

  21. Saw this today. I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was very funny. That is all.

  22. Jareth Cutestory

    May 28th, 2016 at 4:43 am

    One time I saw a a facsimile Earth Wind and Fire perform. They were called: Earth Wind For Hire. True story.

    Also: any list of gleefully inappropriate endangerment of children in cinema has to include Jet Li’s MY FATHER IS HERO. Li uses his movie kid as a human ass-kicking yo-yo!

  23. I was super grateful for the bountiful boob’s. Boob’s and bush and 70’s go hand in hand (my hands, literally). Can’t believe people would walk out on that. Did you see the movie with a Mormon audience, geoffrey? Damn quackers, I mean Quakers. And who the fuck quacks throughout a movie, aside from the New York Ripper? Majestyk, run man, run.

    This was Shane Black in smooth cruise control. Not as ratatat-verbal funny as KKBB but that’s because the lead role was written for Downey Jr who just played himself. I knew it was gonna be great when Gosling worked himself up to punch through the glass door window at the bar, then almost bleeds to death. Like Downey’s finger getting ripped off twice. Then eaten by a dog. That extra-mile Black touch.

    Sometimes his plots are convoluted. BOY SCOUT something about a football scandal. KKBB something about Michelle Monaghans boob’s etc. But they’re never the point, really. What these characters are chasing is ultimately not as important as the fact they are simply…chasing. And having as much fun as I am watching them.

  24. A modern Hollywood movie with boobs AND bush? I am shocked.

  25. Welcome back Griff! (Note to self – to woo Griff back from Xbox exile, mention key words ‘boob’s’ and ‘bush’). But seriously, I don’t remember any bush in TNG. I just like bush. 70’s bush.

  26. I went back to KKBB the other day and was trying to keep up with the plot of this time . It is a futile attempt as a lot of things makes no sense or is so labyrinthine as crime novels usually are that pleasur of just being on a ride gets lost

  27. I never had any trouble keeping up with the plot of KKBB. But I’m a major fan of the type of detective novels that Johnny Gossamer would star in, so the solution to the mystery seemed perfectly logical to me. But I thought INHERENT VICE was fairly easy to follow so what do I know? Maybe I’m just a masochist for impenetrable mystery.

  28. I like to read those myself. But with novels I can allow myself to pause on a page before I move forward and therefore more clearly follow the plot. KKBB just moves to fast in that depatment for my tiny brain to follow.

  29. It’s true. The movie doesn’t really give you much time to keep up. And maybe I’ve seen it so many times that I’ve forgotten if I was ever confused by it.

  30. Like anybody’s been asking for a Doc Savage movie. What a waste of Black’s time. I won’t say it’s a waste of The Rock’s time cause he’s known to make any piece of shit thrown at him and I’m bound to always skip em. He ain’t shit outside FAST AND FURIOUS and THE RUNDOWN.

  31. I hate the “Nobody asked for that movie” “argument”. We didn’t ask for most of our favourite movies and yet they exist and it’s a good thing.

    But let’s be honest here, I really doubt that this movie will get made. Yeah, it seems like they are actually moving forward with it, but something tells me, at some point someone will look at the box office results of LONE RANGER, THE SHADOW, THE PHANTOM, JOHN CARTER and pretty much every other movie based on a pulp hero, probably also at the box office results of everything that Shane Black directed and wasn’t part of a superhero franchise and simply just say: “We like your script, we like The Rock, we even like YOU, but we’re not gonna do this.”

  32. But Black’s been trying to make a Doc Savage movie since forever. How is making his personal dream project a waste of his time? I’ve only read one Savage book (and, like a lot of early pulp stuff, found it a bit too one-dimensional to really get into, but Black has show the ability to add layers to pulp templates in the past) but Johnson is obviously perfect casting and I can’t wait to hear him spouting Black one-liners. It sounds like an absolutely perfect marriage of character, actor, and filmmaker.

    Seriously, Broddie, what’s there to complain about? This is one time where the system works.

  33. CJ most of our favorite movies weren’t adaptations of boring one note source materials either. In a world where nobody gives a shit about pulp characters at all at that (keep in mind I’m personally fond of The Shadow and The Phantom but I am only one person).

    I really hated that 70s Doc Savage movie Majestyk. That and the boring books and his 50 year old fans insisting that they’re the bees knees put me off this shit so yeah there is a bias.

    I also feel Alan Moore’s Savage pastiche Tom Strong was also like 12 times the character that the original was so that doesn’t help. Nevertheless dream project or not I’d rather see something completely original than see Black bother with another funny book adaptation. That’s my own selfishness at play of course. I guess I’ll just sit this one out like I did IROB MAN 3 especially when he doesn’t have a lead half as consistent as RDJ this time around.

  34. Ugh. Already, the internet is talking about how to “do Doc Savage right.” I don’t want it done “right.” I want it done however the fuck Shane “Jeez you got a big pussy” Black wants to do it. Thinking there’s just one “right” way to tell stories is why all stories feel the fucking same these days. Everybody reads the same screenwriting book and follows the same rules and is desperate to please the same fucking entitled babies who will only drink out of their favorite sippy cup with the pink princess on it and if they can’t have it they’ll throw a tantrum and refuse to eat their dinner. Fuck that and fuck them. I hope Black does it wrong as hell.

  35. Reminds me of the infamous “What the fuck is a Tin Tin!?” from ancient AICN times. Though I will agree with Broddie on how no one can seem to figure out how to properly use Johnson outside of The Rundown and Fast films (also outside of those two examples most of his are not terribly great).

    Even more off topic:

    Mr. M

    I really liked your Poochy Goes Presidential: The Broadway Experience comment over at the AV Club. I happened to have my comment blocker turned off at that moment and saw your post. My favorite responder was the guy randomly complaining about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Anyways kudos for that!

  36. Man, I got slaughtered for that, but I think the theater dorks and I managed to find some common ground in the end. It’s amazing the animosity you experience when you don’t toe the party line at that site. They’re supposed to be the smart, sophisticated corner of the pop culture internet, yet they get completely defensive and childish when everybody doesn’t love the same stuff that they do. Yet here we are, a bunch of cretins who like watching shit get blowed up real good, and we could give a rolling fuck if somebody disagrees with us.

  37. See that’s another thing. Now everybody is an esteemed member of the Doc Savage Defense Squad For Preservation Of Extreme Pulpiness or whatever the fuck.

    Like ok I myself may not be into the idea of this movie which for all I know could turn out to be good as hell. But you want to doubt the guy who has known the character since childhood and dreamt of making a movie with him for decades? the nerve. When prior to this news have most of them even brought up Doc Savage?

    Most of them only know Doc Savage from wikipedia entries or the covers of that DC First Wave experiment since I’m sure they never read it since it flopped royally despite also featuring their idol The Batman. Now all of a sudden their mission is to make sure it’s not handled wrong? Nigga please!

    At least I could speak from the POV of someone who gave the character a shot across various volumes back in the 90s and didn’t really get captivated by it. I doubt many of the doubters could make similar claims.

  38. I´ll be seeing this on Wednesday. I am pretty excited about it.

  39. Qualty Shane Black as usual. He toned down the frantic pacing from KKBB så you could actually follow the plot this time without too much trouble. Or maybe the mystery was not as convoluted? I don´t know. But he built a believable 70´s world and I was happy with the characters.

    Again, Shane Black leaves us with two characters we most likely will never see again even if we would have liked to see more nice adventures with these guys.

  40. One thing I had a proplem with was that Amelia was apparently some sort of Elektra-type assassin as she killed all those people in the top floor apartment Was that just weird or was that just me?

  41. Amelia didn’t kill anybody. Why would she kill the people she was trying to sell the movie to? That was Johnboy.

  42. Yeah, I don´t know why I thought that.

  43. Just finished watching this finally. It’s real fresh but this is my number one movie of 2017. Just perfect.

  44. I meant 2016

  45. I’ve only seen THE NICE GUYS once so I may have just completely missed something the first time around because I was taking a bite out of a sandwich or whatever, but did the introduction of Holland’s anosmia have any payoff at all? It honestly felt to me like something was missing from the film. Because it’s such an explicit and specific setup for a callback, which is something that happens a lot in a Shane Black joint, that the absence of one made me feel a little unsettled when it was over. Great movie though. I’m totally jealous of the bizarro world in which this launched a successful franchise.

  46. Holland’s anosmia?

  47. Holland has lost his sense of smell. I agree with MIXALOT that a final payoff in which this plays to his advantage might’ve been cool, but the callback here is really the backstory revelation that it led to his house burning down and the death of his wife. I guess it’s possible there was once a final act payoff, but I also think it might’ve weakened that backstory: You saved the day coz you weren’t distracted by the stinking dead cat; your wife’s still dead though.

  48. The script is so flawless it even seamlessly works in a story justification for why the British actress playing the daughter might not have been able to pull off an American accent, even though she did. Main man Shane Black doesn’t leave shit to chance.

  49. y’all hear they’re turning this shit into a tv show? key-razy. did not see that coming.

  50. More of this in any form is always welcome. Long as Shane Black is involved.

  51. The proposed TV adaptation is gender-bent (it’s called “The Nice Girls”) and set in the modern day, which is just bizarre to me. I didn’t think the movie even did that well financially. Why have it be related at all, if it’s going to have nothing to do with the movie and the movie doesn’t even have that strong of a brand? I love the movie and think it’d be a cool TV show, so I’m actually disappointed this is what they’re doing with it.

  52. Oh and it’s not being written by Shane Black. It’s being written by Michael Diliberti, whose only screenwriting credit thus far is the 2011 movie 3’0 Minutes or Less,’ starring Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari.

  53. Yikes!

    The gender switch is the most appealing aspect of this, to be honest. Imagine they would cast someone real badass like Lucy Lawless in the Russell Crowe role. Don’t know who they would pick for the Gosling part. But the point is: I wanna see a weekly hard-boiled comedy action show with two women solving cases, that end in lots of punching, shooting and occasional goofy slapstick shenanigans.

    But without Black’s involvement and written by someone whose only movie is pretty bad from what I’ve heard and being something that tries to cash in on the reputation of a movie that was ignored by most people and therefore they change everything about it (We all know that the present day thing has to do with budget), I’m not sure if I care.

  54. I´ve already dismissed that other show some non-Shane Black people made about those “other guys” from that other movie Shane Black wrote. SoI don´t give a shit.

  55. I know that you wouldn’t like it, Shoot, but my wife and I really like the Lethal Weapon show. Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford have great chemistry with each other and I feel the sense of family that the later Lethal Weapons had. It’s a really good show.

  56. Yeah it’s not the movie but it’s good for what it is. I’m always entertained.

  57. Great commitment to a bit, you guys. A LETHAL WEAPON TV show! Ha! The very idea!

  58. Yeah, I could never imagine a world where a tv show could be made from a movie.

  59. Yes, a LETHAL WEAPON turned into a television show without the central draw of the concept is indeed one of the dumbest ideas I´ve ever heard of.

  60. You mean the concept that pairs the suicidally depressed maverick cop with the straight laced family oriented veteran cop? that’s exactly the conceit the show runs with.

    Keep in mind that I was against the show before actually giving it a try. Again it’s not the movies but still good for what it is. A procedural meets blockbuster movie product but without the boringness of anything you’d find on CBS.

    It was never meant to be prestige TV like RAY DONOVAN (great show) or something just fun escapism. Like that EXORCIST show on the same network. They’re harmless and don’t damage their respective brands so I rock with them for that. They manage to respect their roots enough while still bringing their own ideas and flavor that don’t just make them a rehash of the movies that influenced their existence.

  61. The reason the concept worked was because of the singular pairing of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Not by a generic descriptive pairing. That´s what I meant. You can explain away all you want, but there is no way in hell this shit is even going close to my eyeballs, since it would be like taking away your relatives , replacing them with nobodies and pretend the new ones are the same people.

  62. That’s the thing I don’t view it as a replacement at all. In no universe will anybody actually take the show over the movies even if they enjoy both. At least I’d like to think so but I have yet to see anybody who has seen both even come close to thinking something like that. That’s why like I said before it’s harmless. Don’t bother with it if you don’t want to that’s cool but believe me it is in no way a threat to legacy and status of the film series.

  63. The new STAR WARS films are in no way a threat to the legacy.

  64. That was a bit overboard perhaps and not exactly the perfect example, but i had to convey the insult that this new series with entirely new corporate creative lackeys onboard that have the envious task of re-creating a beloved franchise.

  65. I just hate the idea of LEATHAL WEAPON made by corporate people who think you can simply recreate the magic twice if you have the exact coordinates to it.

  66. I understand where you’re coming from but as you pointed out it’s overboard because this is NOT Lethal Weapon 5. While those Star Wars movies HAVE been EPISODE 7, 3.5 and soon 8.

  67. I want more Mel/Danny adventures and despite clock is ticking down I feel it could possibly be done. Instead we have a pretend version of it. and that is not good enough. And I don´t like it.

  68. The TV show is a lot better than Lethal Weapon 3 and 4.

  69. Wow, that actually sounds like a Trumptweet.

  70. I didn’t end with sad or blame Hilary for anything.

  71. “The TV show is a lot better than Lethal Weapon 3 and 4.”

    Despite my defense of the show I can not endorse this message.

  72. Lethal Weapon 4 stinks and part 3 is average. One and two are so awesome it makes up for 3 and 4.

  73. The Undefeated Gaul

    October 1st, 2017 at 3:43 am

    3 is the only bad one imho, 4 isnt perfect but I always enjoy a rewatch. That final Jet Li fight alone is worth the price of admission.

  74. LETHAL WEAPON 4 is one of the best movie going experiences I ever had in my life. No hyperbole. Such a great and engaged audience. So much fun. Even outside of the theater environment it still holds as great pop entertainment. 3 is far from perfect especially the afterschool special aspect but even the worst LW is still better than a lot of other action alternatives out there. The TV show included.

  75. That chase and fight scene on the freeway and that final fight with Jet Lee put Lethal Weapon 4 over the third film for me. It also seemed like a movie that wanted to provide a happy ending for all of these characters we’ve come to know, which is why I’m okay with there never being another Lethal Weapon film or TV show ever again.

  76. I said it before and I say it again: LW4 is the proof that you can shoot a tentpole movie without a finished script and still deliver a good product anyway.

    Also the moment at the end, when Riggs and Murtaugh walk away from Jet Li because they know he will most likely kill them, but then fight him anyway because it’s the right thing to at least try, is one of the greatest moments in movie history and definitely beats “Riggs and Gary Busey punch each other while everybody just stands there and watch because it’s the 80s” from the finale of part 1!

  77. That conversation right before Riggs and Murtaugh decide to take on Jet Lee deserves to be in the pantheon of action movie badassery. It’s a great moment in its own right, but it also thematically fits in with the theme of both Riggs and Murtaugh now being too old for this shit. It’s a wonderful little rage against the dying of the night moment.

  78. I’m team the crazy part 4 is better than the so-so part 3. Due to Stern and Broddie’s recommendation I can the LW TV series on the ‘ol queue (maybe I’ll double team it with the RUSH HOUR TV series).

  79. geoff let me know how RUSH HOUR turned out. By the time I was ready to give it a chance it was already cancelled.

  80. Another underrated LW4 moment was Riggs finally overcoming his hump and bringing closure to his first marriage. Great and very plausivke growth across 11 yrs there. I vividly remember my stepmom with a tear in her eye when Riggs was visiting Victoria Lynn one last time. That Mel sure knows how to bring pathos to any scene when he wants to.

  81. The Undefeated Gaul

    October 1st, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Yes! I’m loving the love for LW4 in here! Such a fun film. Even the over the top silly opening scene with the armored guy with the flamethrower I’m really fond of. The punchline of that scene, which was shown with every trailer for the film, still makes me laugh every time. It was almost spoof territory but I enjoyed the hell out of it.

  82. The film being really racist doesn’t bother you?

  83. I have no excuse the very obvious racism in this one. Despite that it doesn’t waste Kim Chan too much and Jet Li too much. Doesn’t make up for ‘fried lice’ and short guy jokes though. Also they waste Conan Lee and it was confirmed there was a small fight that involved Conan Lee but it was cut…

    Still like it better than 3.

  84. When I rewatched the series last year, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Lethal Weapon 4, but I don’t think anyone here thinks it’s a classic on the level of one and two. The corny racist jokes and the homophobia subplot have not aged well, and the subplot of Murtaugh’s wife becoming a romance novelist is completely bonkers. But damnit if the film doesn’t survive on the goodwill of its characters and a few well crafted set pieces.

  85. I wouldn’t say that the FILM is really racist. There is the “flied lice” moment, which is even hard to justify in a “those were different times” context and is really weird in a movie by Richard “I put liberal political messages in all my movies” Donner. But unless you believe that a movie is automatically racist when the bad guy isn’t white, LW4 is okay in that regard. It’s definitely less offensive than most of Chris Tucker’s dialogue in the RUSH HOUR movies.

    The “homophobia” actually makes more fun of Murtaugh’s uptightness on this topic. It would be different if Riggs would say: “Chris Rock is gay” and then the “joke” would be how everybody makes fun of the victim, but here we should definitely laugh at Murtaugh’s stupid reaction. Yeah, this still could be handled differently, but this IS a “those were different times” thing. And compared to other movies, even some that came out at the same time or just a few years earlier portrayed homosexuality in a humorous context, this one does okay.

  86. The Undefeated Gaul

    October 2nd, 2017 at 2:28 am

    I feel the same – there’s some stuff in there that seems problematic now, but back then I never even registered it. It doesn’t feel mean-spirited in any case, indeed one of those “different times” things. There’s plenty of that stuff in 80s and 90s movies, it doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the films really.

  87. On a topic that not many people here possibly care about: Today Thomas Fritsch died, who was for decades the regular German voice actor for Russell Crowe, Jeremy Irons and others. I hadn’t heard him doing any of these voices in a while, so I suspected that something was up.

    It’s weird how many of our classic voice actors died recently and therefore we had to get used to many of our favourite Hollywood stars sounding differently. Last year Leon Boden, who did Denzel’s voice, died. A while ago Arne Elsholtz died, so Tom Hanks and Bill Murray have been voiced by others for years and it still sounds odd. Thomas Danneberg, who is maybe THE German mega voice, has been in bad health too and therefore Arnie, Sly, Dan Aykroyd, Nick Nolte, John Travolta and John Cleese were voiced by others. (In Sly’s case it’s now Jürgen Prochnow again, who also did his voice sometimes in the 70s and early 80s.)

    Even though over the years I started to watch more and more movies and TV shows in their original language (provided that language is English), it’s still a jarring change. Don’t get me started about the German dub of THE SIMPSONS. Bart & Lisa are maybe the only characters who had the same respective voice actors since the beginning, while everybody else died or retired. Oh well…

  88. Thanks for that, CJ. I can’t pretend I know anything about German voice actors, but I was saddened when Franziska Pigulla died in 2019 at the age of 54. I started watching The X-Files in German in an attempt to improve my speaking and comprehension (it didn’t really work although I did learn to say “Stehen bleiben, oder ich schiesse!” convincingly) but for me Pigulla’s voice is the voice of Dana Scully. It was a shock to discover how much higher and less cool Gillian Anderson’s own voice really was.

  89. Gillian Anderson once said that she wished her voice sounded like Pigulla’s. Coincidentally Eddie Murphy said the same about his old voice actor, who also died over 10 years ago.

  90. That’s so interesting to me. My one thing to offer (sorry if I’ve said this before) – in the ’90s I knew a guy who had been an exchange student in Germany when ARMY OF DARKNESS came out, and when he saw the original version he preferred the dub he had seen because he said it quoted the German version of GONE WITH THE WIND at some point and he liked that better than the original line. I forget if it was “Gimme some sugar baby” or what.

    I saw an article about a new technology they’re starting to develop that uses recordings of an actor’s real voice (and maybe AI or something) to translate their lines into another language. The article was about what a threat this poses to the livelihoods of the voice actors for dubs all over the world, but I also can’t imagine it doesn’t make the performances weird and hollow.

  91. It was actually a line from CASABLANCA (The German “Here’s looking at you, kid”, so “I look into your eyes, kid”) that is said instead of “Give me some sugar.”

    The topic of German dubs changing parts of the original dialogue or using voice actors, that don’t sound like their original counterparts and therefore disappoint many Germans when they hear the real voices, is a long and interesting one. The BILL & TED movies for example, are generally accepted as being better in German (despite the protagonists having different voices in each movie), thanks of the slang words they created. (Germans actually say “Volle Kanne, Hoshi” because of them!) The German voices in the ICE AGE series are much better too. Peer Augustinski, who was the regular voice actor of Robin Williams, happened to sound exactly like him, so that was a bummer when he had to retire because of a stroke. And then there is of course the case of THE SIMPSONS, where the German voices are actually quite beloved (because of them sounding more “grounded” compared to the American voices), yet the translation was for a long time done by someone, who obviously didn’t know shit about the easiest English phrases sometimes.

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