We were so fortunate to be invited along to the UK premiere of The Nice Guys, held last week at the Odeon in London’s Leicester Square, and it was some occasion. Present were cast and crew from the film including Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Augourie Rice, writer-director Shane Black and legendary producer, Joel Silver.
Instead of the customary red carpet, we walked the orange carpet in homage to the films 70s vibe, which was further enhanced by music from a great funk band.
We were in for a further treat upon taking our seats in the stalls. On to the stage bestrode the Gladiator himself, Russell Crowe to introduce the film and his friends from the production. Upon announcing Ryan Gosling, we heard a din that only can be described by Comms Express as a roar of passion from Gosling’s adoring fans.
So what of the film?
We loved it. For a company so immersed in tech, the film was virtually devoid of it, which played perfectly in this black comedy about two detectives. Shane Black and his co-writer Anthony Bagarozzi could not use technology to aid their two sleuths’ (in the loosest sense!) to solve the various riddles the story threw up.
Set in Los Angeles in 1977. The famed Hollywood sign is crumbling, and we are pitched into the dark underbelly of tinsel town.
It was nice to hear from the two stars as to what attracted them to playing the tough guys —a.k.a. “The Nice Guys”—are Healy and March, performed by award-winning actors Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling respectively. “Shane creates these worlds that have their tone, slightly surreal but rooted in reality,” Gosling observes. “And his characters are heightened, but somehow you feel like you know them. On a fundamental level, The Nice Guys is a detective story, but Shane can subvert it. You think you’re going to go right, and he takes you left.”
Crowe agrees, “A good detective movie is always going to be complex. As it’s unfolding, you don’t really know what’s going on, and then, when you find out, all the parts of the journey have added up. Ultimately, you earn the right to get to the end of the story.”
The Oscar-winning actor continued, “You’ve got one character who’s on a moral slippery slope, and then you have the other guy who wants to be useful, but, currently, thinks he can only be useful by breaking people’s arms. So, in a way, it’s that classic thing where these two guys together make one whole man. But it’s also completely unconventional, and that appealed to my sense of humour.”
“The script doesn’t take itself too seriously…I mean the characters do, but that’s what’s ridiculous about them,” Gosling laughs. “I think that’s also what makes you root for March and Healy—because they want to be, or are pretending to be, more than they are.”
The producer of hits such as Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and The Matrix, Joel Silver recalled reading the screenplay for the first time, “It was a page-turner; it had a great pace to it. It was one of those scripts where you start reading it and, before you know it, you’re done. I knew it would allow us to take the audience on a wild ride, and that’s something Shane is really great at doing.”
“It felt good to be on a film with Joel again,” says Black. “He’s a high-energy force of nature in this business. He’s also a virtual encyclopaedia of movie history and all things cinematic, so listening to him is always fascinating and working with him is a privilege. Plus he has a knack for finding the same things intriguing in a movie as I do, and he respects the kinds of stories I like to tell. So I think Joel and I will continue to make movies together…I certainly hope so.”
Director Shane Black does not direct too many films, so let’s welcome it when he does!
One useless observation we did pick up, in keeping with it being a detective film, was the link of birds in the two stars names: Crowe and Gosling; they were destined to work together! We told you it was useless!!
Be sure and catch The Nice Guys on the big screen when it opens nationwide from June 3.
Until next time…