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For a movie that is presumably less about its plot and more an opportunity to mess around with the rules of a genre, The Nice Guys puts a lot of effort into making its plot substantial. Sure, the main attractions are Ryan Gosling adorably bungling around, Russell Crowe wittily roughing folks up, and Angourie Rice providing the competence while still remaining a believable teenager. But the quagmire they get mixed up in sure offers plenty of food for thought. The strain of killings they stumble into investigating turn out to all be related to an experimental film with elements of porn (or is it the other way around?) meant to expose the auto industry’s part in strangling the world with pollution. The whole messy story opens up a can of ethical quandary worms that The Nice Guys pointedly in its gumshoe nihilism does not answer. How could it, when the conspiracy runs this deep?

I give The Nice Guys 20 Gun Gags out of 25 Disco Soundtrack Selections.

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