Stop everything and check out the inarguably great red band trailer for Shane Black’s upcoming buddy-action-comedy-neonoir The Nice Guys. Set in the grimy, sleazy Los Angeles of the 1970s – smog, period-accurate Warner Bros logo and all — the film sees Russell Crowe as an LAPD detective who teams up with Ryan Gosling’s hapless private detective to find a missing girl connected to the apparent suicide of a fading porn actress. Per usual with a Shane Black film, it’s brutal and full of tough guys and gallows humor bordering on slapstick.
The main thing here: Good god it’s nice to see Black returning to what he does best — namely, see unlikely friends beating people up and getting beaten up in Los Angeles. Iron Man 3 was a truly great Marvel film, but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was an all-time classic that barely made an impact, aside from announcing Robert Downey Jr.’s return back in 2005. I can’t help but hope this one actually hits.
Gosling is on a roll lately, but it’s nice to see Crowe in a role that isn’t chasing after an Oscar. Likewise, nice to see him reunited with Kim Basinger for the first time since 1997’s L.A. Confidential, which scored her an Oscar. Joining them in the film are Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Jack Kilmer, Ty Simpkins, Keith David, Beau Knapp and Angourie Rice.
Directed by Black from a script he co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi, The Nice Guys is produced by Black’s Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (among others) collaborator Joel Silver. It hits theaters May 20.