Shane Black is best described as an acquired taste. For every reader finding appreciation of his screenplays, there's another certain to only find them smug. For every fan of his script for the first "LETHAL WEAPON" film(I was), there are more that find it dated and actually immature(how this reviewer feels about it 30 years later).
His latest writer/director offering, "THE NICE GUYS" is equally destined to annoy as many as it entertains. Having built his career on "Odd Couple" pairings, (Lethal Weapon and the awful Last Boy Scout) Black pairs Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe as Holland March and Jackson Healy. March is an investigator earning his real income by ripping off his clients. When his latest client, Amelia realizes she's being ripped off, she hires Jackson, a tough guy to keep Holland either honest or away or both. The business relationship with Amelia becomes seedier as the duo search for a missing porn actress whose latest film is also missing and apparently has something extremely incriminating within it as hitmen are after everyone.
While Black's script has plenty of layers, it doesn't provide depth. What "THE NICE GUYS" does do well, is depict the '70s in a refreshing way and offer an interesting, generally amusing chemistry between Crowe and Gosling. Are the pairing and occasional laughs enough to make "THE NICE GUYS" worth viewing? Yes! There are more than a few genuinely witty moments and while the narrative doesn't hold up to scrutiny, "THE NICE GUYS" is likely to create more than a few smiles and occasional chuckles on its viewers.
WARNER BROS has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for this MPEG-4 AVC encoded 1080p blu-ray. Colors vary in vibrancy, offering an unusual and engaging design, especially for a film set in the '70s. As rich as colors can be in some scenes, they can be suddenly and intentionally subdued for other gritty moments. Detail is exceptional, whether it's revealing the patterns of the clothing or the ageless beauty of Kim Basinger. Contrast is also impressive, retaining fine detail, even in darker, gritty scenes. An outstanding transfer!
WARNER BROS has provided a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. A fun, immersive mix! From the opening titles and throughout, nuanced effects are punctuated by livelier action-packed moments and accompanying surround and bass effects. It's a creative mix, made further impressive in the manner of which well-written dialogue is perfectly rendered within a pulsing soundtrack and impressive score. This is a mix to showcase one's surround sound system!
Along with the blu-ray, dvd and UV code, WARNER BROS has included theatrical trailers and two short featurettes.