Remember Lethal Weapon? Or moreso – Lethal Weapon 2? What an awesome movie that was back in the day. Riggs and Murtaugh was your perfectly mis-matched team, back when Jean-Claude Van Damme was hip and Mel Gibson was pre-lunatic.I was therefore really quite excited to see The Nice Guys. From the trailers (the ever-reliable trailers!), Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling; both of whom I really like (my wife particularly liking the latter), seemed to tap into this long-forgotten mis-matched male chemistry – but alas, twas not to be.
Old Rusty plays Mr Healy, a pay me to punch your problems type whose…well I don’t know. I was going to say a bit down on his luck but that really wasn’t the case. And Ryan plays a character whose name I only learned just this moment from looking it up on IMDB – Holland March – and if that tells you anything it’s that something quite substantial is lacking from this movie. Despite not knowing the guys name, I can tell you he’s your typical hard-drinking, ever-smoking private investigator, but to round off his character has a 12ish year old daughter tacked on named Holly. Holly not only drives her old man around (as i assume he’s always too far over the limit to take the wheel himself), but also involves herself in many of her old man’s cases.
And the case? Well that wasn’t immediately clear until much further into the movie. Both men are out to find someone named Amelia, a particularly annoying character who once found we thankfully spent very little time with her. It all began with the death of a porno star, whose car careened down a hill, through a random little boys house (who had just snuck under his parents bed to steal his father’s stick book – that coincidentally showed us the breasts of this soon to be dead porn star- oh the masterful foreshadowing!) – and well that was that.
The rest was basically a lame plot littered with some quite enjoyable character moments but that’s about it. There were some funny moments, I did quite like both characters despite Ryan Gosling’s character alternating between masked intelligence and outright retardation, but the movie as a whole? A resounding meh. It became obvious to me as I counted down the painful minutes waiting for this to end, that the guys rolling behind cover shooting at each other thing is no longer for me, and when I think on that, I suspect if I re-watched Lethal Weapon 2 tomorrow, I’d have similar feelings.