This weekend, I took some relaxation time, and the wife and I went to see a film. I’m a bit of a Shane Black fan, loving Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, and lots of his other work (he basically write perfect neo-noir, and I love me all the types of noir).
So The Nice Guys was right up my alley. And boy. It was literally camping in my alley, wanting to hang out and be my best friend.
The plot is delightfully simple, yet convoluted in the right timing (I’ll get to that in a second), the acting is top notch, and the action is shaky cam free!
For me, thrillers or mysteries live or die by the timing of plot reveals. I’m a pretty sharp guy, and my wife can attest, that I figure out plots pretty quickly and are pretty accurate in my predictions. The trick is not revealing too much too early, and that’s a hard craft for most movies. Which is ok. I’m a limited sub-set of an audience, and I don’t expect every movie to match me.
The Nice Guys nailed the timing issue of their reveals (as Shane Black often does), delivered a lot of delightfully dark humor around those reveals, but kept the plot simple enough that it didn’t feel preachy or in your face with its twists. It felt natural, and you felt swept along on the journey as these two very broken men face down crime-ridden 70s LA (which, by the way, felt absolutely perfect. The clothes, the music, the theme. It was everything I wanted to see about 70s LA).
It was perfect noir. Absolutely perfect.
Also, read this article if you need further convincing.