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THE NICE GUYS (2016) - Discussion Thread - Page 3

post #101 of 313
There's a lot of "Why have it at all?" stuff in this movie. Which is kinda fine in a shaggy comedy flick, but certain things are clearly meant to add up to something and don't.

Like the bits about Russell Crowe not killing folks. So weightless (this film has so little regard for human life that it's impossible for us to suddenly start caring about that stuff) and kinda out of place.
post #102 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

I don't want to derail the thread, but I couldn't help but be constantly reminded of some things I've read about Black having "issues". Feels like there's a lot of him working out those issues I've read about in this and KKBB.

I remember an interview from at least 15 years ago in a French magazine (that was the first time I saw a journalist basically saying 'you don't pay attention to this guy, but he is the goods' about Black) where he was candidly saying there was a reason he was writing stories about suicidal veterans, that he was, and I quote, familiar with the idea of putting a gun on his head. He also had a bad breakup which left him quite depressed at the end of then nineties and partly explains his absence. Looks like he got better.

post #103 of 313
For a writer so committed to subverting tropes and making fun of cliches (stray bullets have to go somewhere), it's a really curious blind spot. - in response to nooj.
post #104 of 313

All artists have their limits, David Mamet's plots feel at times too mechanical (especially his con artists movies, it's like clockwork but in a bad way) to me, same thing Joss Whedon's constant post modern sarcasms. And I respect and enjoy their work in general...

post #105 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post

There's a lot of "Why have it at all?" stuff in this movie. Which is kinda fine in a shaggy comedy flick, but certain things are clearly meant to add up to something and don't.

Like the bits about Russell Crowe not killing folks. So weightless (this film has so little regard for human life that it's impossible for us to suddenly start caring about that stuff) and kinda out of place.

I think it works well *because* of the "callous disregard for human life". This little girl shows up specifically to ask questions that you never ask in this kind of story. That doesn't necessarily turn the film into something else, but she's there to ask our leads to be better men. Nice guys.
post #106 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

I think it works well *because* of the "callous disregard for human life". This little girl shows up specifically to ask questions that you never ask in this kind of story. That doesn't necessarily turn the film into something else, but she's there to ask our leads to be better men. Nice guys.
That'd work better if the violence had any sting, like it does in the best of the Coen comedies.
post #107 of 313
You're moving the goalpost a lot. You can't accuse the film of having a callous disregard for human life and then say its attempt to address that would work better if the violence were crunchier.

There's a lot of casual violence going on. A character is set up to comment on it. She does. That's it. Like a lot of things in the film, it's not hugely impactful, but I don't think Black is looking to gutpunch people or engage them in a profound, intellectual way about the nature of violence. He's still making an airy caper, despite occasional detours into darker territory.
post #108 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

You're moving the goalpost a lot. You can't accuse the film of having a callous disregard for human life and then say its attempt to address that would work better if the violence were crunchier.
Sure I can.

If you're going to try to give your film a moral trajectory, you also have to give the choices and actions of those individuals in the film some weight. If death has no weight in the film's universe, it's going to feel weird when you suddenly act as though there's some moral line being crossed when a character kills another person.

If Black wanted to address that stuff, he had to make the film a little darker and heavier. Otherwise, he should have just embraced the fact that he was making a big, goofy, violent lark about unrepentantly shitty people and left morality out of it.
post #109 of 313
Death clearly has weight in the film. Like stray bullets hitting bystanders at least twice, the film shows it, but doesn't dwell on it. You're asking Black to dwell on things that he doesn't need to. In Holly's absence, we wouldn't question what's happening, because we don't question our heroes. However, Crowe specifically has his actions reflected back at him and then lies because he feels ashamed of himself. That last scene with John Boy is Crowe's chance to escape the shame and sense of uselessness that hangs over him.

The movie doesn't need to do anything different or more, because Holly is the difference; she's the aberration in something like this.

This is a little like that moment in KK,BB where Downey shoots the hitman in the bedroom after he witnesses the murder of the girl. That movie is filled with gallows humor, but Black pauses in that scene for a moment of reflection and gives it a gravity that he'd eschewed up until that point.
post #110 of 313

I thought the scene where the guy that looked like Sacha Cohen got comforted by Holly... and then strangled to death by Crowe when she wasn't looking... hit that weight pretty well in the film.

post #111 of 313
To me, killing the random bystanders played more like attempts to up the chaos than give its violence an existential/moral component.
post #112 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

I thought the scene where the guy that looked like Sacha Cohen got comforted by Holly... and then strangled to death by Crowe when she wasn't looking... hit that weight pretty well in the film.
In isolation, sure. I just don't really see it as being properly connected to everything else in the movie.

Putting the question of the way the film treats violence aside for a second, we have Crowe drinking again at the end of the film, so what is this movie's moral trajectory for these characters? And if there is no moral trajectory, why signpost those two scenes like there is one?
post #113 of 313
Not drinking didn't exactly help that character, who had problems that appeared to have nothing to do with alcohol and it's also another subversion (I'm off the sauce, Jim!). You'd probably pick up drinking again after being shot at and nearly killed a dozen times.
post #114 of 313
And finding out that all your efforts were fairly ineffectual in making any major change.

I would agree that Holly's plea for Crowe to not kill at the end of the movie didn't feel all that well implemented compared to what came before. Especially with just how cruel and deadly John Boy was... I kept expecting him to get back up for a last minute reversal that never came.
post #115 of 313
I thought this was wonderful. The room I was in had five people. There was a line of about seventeen people waiting to get tickets for Angry Birds. Sigh.
post #116 of 313
Thread Starter 
post #117 of 313

I really enjoy the multiple mentions of the American Ninja series in there.

post #118 of 313

Black said in an interview that he went sober several years ago. I think sometime between KKBB and IM3. He said it cleared away a lot of depression and got him busy, hence the big slate of upcoming projects.

Which makes the offhand reveal of Healy's choice to fall off the wagon... rather bleak.

post #119 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

I would agree that Holly's plea for Crowe to not kill at the end of the movie didn't feel all that well implemented compared to what came before. Especially with just how cruel and deadly John Boy was... I kept expecting him to get back up for a last minute reversal that never came.

 

Black had the perfect opportunity to kill John Boy; Crowe realizes that he pulled the grenade pin, John struggles to get his jacket off, Gosling is running away with the film and a henchman is aiming his gun at him, Crowe kicks John Boy off the roof and he falls on the henchman, KA-BOOM!!! There's a difference between being merciful and just plain stupid and Holly crossed that line. The villains deserve their just deserts because Black wasn't really making a 70's movie ala Night Moves, he was making an 80's buddy-action-comedy set in the 70's. This movie reminds me why I love Michael Mann's Miami Vice (2006) and American Gangster over movies based on Elmore Leonard novels where the plot takes a backseat to characters bullshitting while the story meanders which is what The Nice Guys felt like. 

post #120 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Phibes View Post
 

Black said in an interview that he went sober several years ago. I think sometime between KKBB and IM3. He said it cleared away a lot of depression and got him busy, hence the big slate of upcoming projects.

Which makes the offhand reveal of Healy's choice to fall off the wagon... rather bleak.

 

He's been talking about doing Doc Savage and I don't know why the Hell he hasn't went after Chris Hemsworth for the part?!?

post #121 of 313

He's reputedly going after The Rock for Doc Savage, and I would love to see Johnson get to do Shane Black dialogue - I think that'd be a great match.

post #122 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul755 View Post

Loved it. I'll have to think on it some more but I think I do like it better than KKBB.

It truly is surprising how funny Gosling is. The bathroom stall, the "no" when Healy was trying to get his arm to break it and the Costello bit, Nixon in the pool, etc...In fact the whole Nixon/death stuff was gold.

This seems like the perfect type roll for Crowe too. The aged bruiser. His fight with David was fantastic. The daughter was pretty good too. How she insisted on no killing despite all the shit she saw. Loved it.

I would absolutely be on board for a sequel.

I agree! I'd love a sequel.

post #123 of 313
Well, I don't think that's in the cards, unfortunately...

Finally got to see this today. Surprised to see so many people being down on it-- I had a blast.

I'd agree the tragic back stories and plot mechanics were not much more than wallpaper. But when that's in service of a shaggy comedy where you get to see characters with great chemistry bounce off each other and crack wise amongst some inventive action pieces, I don't especially give a damn. That it's by way of two actors you don't associate with funny makes it even better.

Weird habit I have, when a movie's as consistently funny as this one, the dumbest, most throwaway joke will hit me harder than anything else.

Here it was, "Hey, how'd you know my name is Buddy?"

I about had a fit for a solid minute. I managed to keep it quiet, but my wife leaned over to ask what the hell was wrong with me.
post #124 of 313

Yeah I really had a blast with this as well.  It doesn't have the same polished feel that KKBB had but in it's own broader way it works like gangbusters.  Lots of great humour and good chemistry between the leads, and I really liked the mystery plotline.

post #125 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

He's reputedly going after The Rock for Doc Savage, and I would love to see Johnson get to do Shane Black dialogue - I think that'd be a great match.

 

I think that was confirmed?  Which is a match made in my loincloth.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

And finding out that all your efforts were fairly ineffectual in making any major change.

I would agree that Holly's plea for Crowe to not kill at the end of the movie didn't feel all that well implemented compared to what came before. Especially with just how cruel and deadly John Boy was... I kept expecting him to get back up for a last minute reversal that never came.

 

Considering that he singles out the guy coming back at the end of Die Hard as the movie's lone flaw in that Writer's Panel interview (20 years after dissing it in Last Action Hero), I think that the henchmen pop-up is one of Black's least favorite tropes.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post
 

I liked this but....

 

This film's biggest issue is that it's no Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. And considering that I was (still am kind of) obsessed with KKBB, NIce Guys feels like a minor disappointment. 

 

Definitely this.  But also this:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misfit View Post
 

What a total blast. Most entertaining movie of the of year so far. Crowe's flashback to displaying equanimity destroyed me.

 

It's a lot of fun, but it does play like a slower, less meta KKBB, with solid lead performances in the place of bravura ones.  Crowe acquits himself quite well (the equanimity cutaway really is transcendent), but Healy just isn't half the character Gay Perry is.  And Gosling does do surprisingly well with the physical comedy, but I don't think he can pull off the drunken sleaze.  Not that he's bad at playing drunk per se, but this was an RDJ, and Gosling is just too handsome, too mild, too...well, Canadian, to really sell the shabby burnout on the page.  The movie works in spite of this, but I think The Nice Guys simultaneously proves that comedy is within Gosling's wheelhouse, but "fuck up" is not.

post #126 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

 

 

Considering that he singles out the guy coming back at the end of Die Hard as the movie's lone flaw in that Writer's Panel interview (20 years after dissing it in Last Action Hero), I think that the henchmen pop-up is one of Black's least favorite tropes.

 

Doesn't he dislike that one because Karl was definitely dead?

 

The point was that Healy didn't kill John Boy.

 

But point taken!

post #127 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post


Considering that he singles out the guy coming back at the end of Die Hard as the movie's lone flaw in that Writer's Panel interview (20 years after dissing it in Last Action Hero), I think that the henchmen pop-up is one of Black's least favorite tropes.

But how else was Sergeant Powell going to learn to kill again?

Funny, I once saw Black on a panel with Jeb Stuart. You'd think his problem with Karl would've come up, but I don't think it did.

ETA: Just occurred to me that Karl popping back up to take another shot at the hero happens in nearly the same fashion in the novel, so that's not even strictly a movie cliché in that instance...
Edited by Slim - 6/1/16 at 4:19pm
post #128 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

Considering that he singles out the guy coming back at the end of Die Hard as the movie's lone flaw in that Writer's Panel interview 

 

But Karl had a hand inside the chain!  It fits: McLane had the gun, the best move was to play dead at that point.

post #129 of 313

Speaking of Doc Savage, considering how the guy's famous for his team of sidekicks, I wonder if Black could Avengers together some of his old buddies. Not RDJ, of course, but Val Kilmer, Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson, all backing up the Rock... manliest movie of all time.

post #130 of 313

That was quite fun. Super Shane Black-y though. So much so that I could easily see turning people, not as into his style as I am, off.

 

But into his style I am. 

post #131 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post


Considering that he singles out the guy coming back at the end of Die Hard as the movie's lone flaw in that Writer's Panel interview (20 years after dissing it in Last Action Hero), I think that the henchmen pop-up is one of Black's least favorite tropes.

But how else was Sergeant Powell going to learn to kill again?

 

The thing I hate about this (and I love Die Hard, top 5 of all time for me), is he almost immediately shoots another innocent kid.  Like, I imagine he felt pretty good about taking down Karl for half a second, but then he whips around and McClane has to jump in to stop Trigger Happy Powell from blowing away Argyle.  I believe he was included in Die Hard 2 just to assure me that he didn't commit suicide that very night.

post #132 of 313
It is a weird, almost - comedy beat: dramatic hero shot for Powell, that big swell of music; then the very next thing is McClane having to say, whoa, don't shoot that guy.

MichaelM posted this Elvis Mitchell interview with Black in the podcast thread. Thought I should share it here too. It's pretty good:

http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/the-treatment/shane-black-the-nice-guys
post #133 of 313

The party was an amazing setpiece. Black has upped his game as a (technical) director. Maybe working with Marvel rubbed off a little in a good way.

post #134 of 313

I really liked this and i agree that the flow of the party scene was perfect.

Which brings me to the big finale - i think this was edited for time reasons in the first half, based on two things i didn't get:

1) How exactly does Crowe's character find the half-dead projectionist? He suddenly (at least for me) wanders around in this basement/ back-alley-style area and there he immediately checks out the garbage dump, where he finds the guy half covered. Felt weird to me, like someone pointed out to him where the projectionist was to be found. Maybe i missed something?

2) What makes that showcar explode? John Boy was shooting at the window/ projector about 5 stories up and he dindn't aim this badly at Gosling's house. I could easily mark this up as random chaos happening, but Black usually doesn't do this kind of thing, he makes a point of letting all these little beats escalate logically.

These are just nitpicks or points i didn't get. Overall i liked this a bit less than KKBB and about as much as LBS (which i like very much)

 

One weird moment: When after the "tell us and he won't do it again"-gag the barkeeper just keeps on helping them with information - like they passed some kind of initiation and they had his respect now. I would have let these assholes run into their misery after one of them hit my head on the bar. 


Edited by Mr Pretzel - 6/7/16 at 1:08am
post #135 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Pretzel View Post
 

2) What makes that showcar explode? John Boy was shooting at the window/ projector about 5 stories up and he dindn't aim this badly at Gosling's house. I could easily mark this up as random chaos happening, but Black usually doesn't do this kind of thing, he makes a point of letting all these little beats escalate logically.

 

 

John Boy threw a grenade under it.

post #136 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post
 

 

John Boy threw a grenade under it.


Oh, i totally missed that. Thanks. 

post #137 of 313
And a bartender told Crowe where John Boy and Chet went together.
post #138 of 313

Finally saw this.  Loved it.

 

Although it admittedly felt like a spiritual successor to KKBB.  In that I got the sense Black reaaally wanted Kilmer and Downey back, but Crowe and Gosling are the b-team, and will have to do.  Just slap a goatee on Gosling, and we're good to go.

post #139 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


Do not see this with your mom.


I saw this with my mom. I thought it was pretty good. She agreed. 

post #140 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

I might be seeing a movie later today with my mom.  She's not a prude by any means, but how's the violence and sex in this?  Are we approaching Wolf of Wall Street or is it totally OK?

Do not see this with your mum, unless she's into anal.
post #141 of 313
Watched this a 2nd time on bluray. Even better the 2nd time. The only part of the film that isn't all there for me are the villains. Not the characters, just their plot. But the movie is so much fun it doesnt bother me. Still surprised to see everyone down on this. It's one of my favorites of this year.
post #142 of 313

I'm looking forward to giving it another spin.  I expect it to play better the second time on video.

post #143 of 313

post #144 of 313
I saw it at my local cinema!!
post #145 of 313
I saw it in the theater, too. I didn't think it was very good.
post #146 of 313
I had a wonderful time!
post #147 of 313
Eh, it's no KKBB.
post #148 of 313
I'm glad it's not!
post #149 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

Eh, it's no KKBB.
Your right. It's better.
post #150 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul755 View Post

Your right. It's better.

"YOUR?!"
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